A Silly Little SmartPhone

Over on "The Birdsite" there continues to be no end of apologists, seekers of Lord Manchild's (as I've nicknamed Musk) attention, and defenders of Elon Musk's every move. Twitter is Going Great chronicles so much, but this new nonsense takes the cake.

Attention-Seeker Liz Wheeler jumped into the fray on Twitter basically challenging Musk to take action if the Twitter app is pulled from the App Store and Google Play. According to her, "Half the country would happily ditch the biased, snooping iPhone & Android. The man builds rockets to Mars, a silly little smartphone should be easy, right?"

I could do a complete takedown of Wheeler's tweet but why bother? It's completely absurd. The path to the current smartphone era is littered with the failures of none other than Microsoft, Facebook Meta, Amazon, Palm, and Blackberry. Elon effin' Musk (who actually hasn't launched a single rocket to Mars yet) is going to take on Apple, Google, Samsung, and LG and carve out a spot as a successful third platform?

In the words of Dr. Evil: Riiiiight.

A "silly little smartphone should be easy" according to her.

But is it? Let's look at the king of kings: the iPhone.

Apple's timeline for the iPhone begins roughly from the first half of 2005 to weeks before the June 2007 on-sale date. All of 2006 is summed up as "hard work" by Ken Kocienda who invented the iPhone's keyboard. I sincerely doubt Musk could ever deliver anything more than vaporware on a proposed phone. Especially coming from a man who is always promising insane Tesla features are always only 18 months away. Give me a break.

Musk replied to her stating he would do this if the apps were indeed pulled. Given how fun it's been to watch $44B of his money go up in flames over there, I personally am daring Musk to build this phone and take on Apple and the like. This will simply accelerate the path he's already on down to zero.

UPDATE: Since publishing this only yesterday, there's been more light shed on this.

Musk is bellyaching about three things: Apple's 30% cut of app store purchases, a possible threat to pull the app from the App Store due to a lack of content moderation, and Apple no longer advertising on Twitter.

Apple's 30% cut is nothing new. Controversial? Sure. Small tweaks have been made in recent years, but it's been a 70/30 split since Day One. My guess is the thrice-aborted Twitter Blue product would be impacted by this and Musk doesn't like it.

Whether Apple is truly threatening to pull Twitter from the App Store is marred in rumor, mainly from Elon himself. He can't be trusted and easily could be saying this to whip up a frenzy of his supporters. Apple has a history of doing this (see Parler) and given Twitter's content moderation seems to be falling apart, this may be something that does indeed happen. Phil Schiller deleting his Twitter account certainly is the smoke that could lead to the fire.

Finally, Apple has likely stopped all advertising on Twitter. Their account is now blank, which means anything it has tweeted was an ad because ads look like native tweets. According to John Gruber "I heard from a source who spent time working in Twitter’s ad products organization that Apple, until recently, was not just a big advertiser on Twitter, but the largest."

I think Elon is now in the "find out" part of "fuck around".