Tech | November 26, 2022 4:08 pm

Elon Musk Floats the Idea of Making a Smartphone for Twitter

He responded to speculation that Apple and Android could remove Twitter from their app stores

Elon Musk
The effects of Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter continue.
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Once Tesla’s Cybertruck is complete, could the next high-profile technological offering from an Elon Musk-owned be a smartphone? Based on comments that Musk made on Twitter on Friday, it certainly sounds possible. As Insider recently noted, Musk’s planned changes to Twitter’s moderation policy have prompted speculation that the app could violate policies in Apple and Android’s app stores.

This led conservative commentator Liz Wheeler to suggest that Musk “produce his own smartphone.”

“I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone,” Musk replied.

To state the obvious: trying to build an Android and iPhone alternative with worldwide distribution for the sole purpose of sharing Twitter (or Musk’s proposed “everything app”) seems like the very definition of a Quixotic task. But Android and Apple have barred apps from their stores over content moderation questions before, as shown by the removal of Parler after the events of January 6, 2021.

As Insider notes, Apple’s app store policies emphasize user safety and a lack of exposure to offensive material. Given that Musk-era Twitter faces a number of existential challenges, whether or not the app will continue to be available is one of several big questions going forward.