Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Musk phone on the way soon if Apple, Google boot Twitter

If Elon Musk can build his own satellite network and rocket ships bound for Mars from scratch, then building a simple smartphone should be a pretty easy task, right?

The ebullient one says that’s exactly what he’ll do if Apple and Google remove the Twitter app from their download stores, as predicted by a number of people who study that sort of thing.

It wouldn’t be the first time an international conglomerate went soaring and also expanded into the mobile phone industry. Remember Richard Branson and his Virgin Group? Call Elon Musk America’s South African Richard Branson.

Musk already has his own Starlink global satellite network. operated by SpaceX. One of the stated goals of Starlink is to operate a global phone service after 2023, much like Branson did years ago. This would simply accelerate those plans.

I would switch. And If you’re still reading this column, I’ll bet you’d probably do the same.

A New York Times op-ed by Yoel Roth, former head of trust and safety at Twitter, suggested the app risks being removed from Apple and Google’s download stores if they “fail to adhere to guidelines.”

Such a move would be “catastrophic” to Twitter, Roth said, as it would make it very difficult for Twitter users to use its services and give Apple and Google “enormous power to shape the decisions Twitter makes.”

I don’t think “catastrophic” is a word Elon thinks about very much. The man has a tendency to do things no one else can do. And I doubt he envisions Apple or Google as ever having “enormous power” over him.

“I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone,” Musk tweeted on Friday, in response to conservative columnist Liz Wheeler, who predicted that half the country would ditch Google and Apple if Musk were to do that.

As stated, this would just be an acceleration of what he already has in mind via his SpaceX network.

Now we just need to come up with a cool name. It’s a great solution and a great way to start taking back social media from the left-wing nut jobs, but “Musk phone” just doesn’t cut it in the naming department.