Monday, Dec 04, 2023

'Apple Tax': After Twitter, Could Elon Musk Be Eying Smartphone Market?

'Apple Tax': After Twitter, Could Elon Musk Be Eying Smartphone Market?

After venturing into social media, Twitter's new CEO Elon Musk could be laying the ground for launching his own mobile smartphone.

Billionaire Entrepreneur Elon Musk
Billionaire and Twitter CEO Elon Musk. AP

The spotlight on billionaire and now Twitter CEO Elon Musk refuses to fade. Musk is everywhere and in every news headline, be it for his hostile takeover of Twitter or his controversial policies on how to run the microblogging site. And now, the Tesla CEO seems to have waded into another controversy after his “no commission” to iPhone giant Apple. He has been vociferously saying no to the “Apple Tax”. 

Twitter will again roll out Bluetick or Twitter Blue or Verified Blue and as per Musk's new rules, users will have to pay eight dollars to get the service. The users have to make an in-app purchase for the blue tick subscription, which means Musk’s Twitter must pay a commission for the same to Apple and Google whose app stores host the microblogging platform. However, Musk has made it clear that he won’t be paying the commission.

What is Apple Tax or Google Tax?

Apple Tax is a commission that iPhone maker Apple charges to web developers for every purchase they make on App Store.
Google also takes a similar commission from web developers. It is a 30 percent cut, the company makes from web developers for each purchase on App Store.

What is the controversy all about?

Musk’s consistent attack on Apple through a string of tweets has put the Tim Cook-led company in cross-chairs.

Musk has also claimed that the Apple company won’t give the reason for taking Twitter out of App Store.

Musk has said that backlash from the iPhone giant has already started since it stopped advertising on his micro-blogging site—Twitter.

Musk has also criticised Apple for its “monopoly” over alleged censorship.

If observers are to be believed, behind Musk’s brouhaha could be a business ploy. In attacking Cook’s Apple, Musk could be doing might indeed be laying the groundwork for his own smartphone brand.

The hint has come from Twitter’s top CEO Liz Wheeler. In a tweet, Twitter CEO Wheeler said: “…The man builds rockets to Mars, a silly smartphone should be easy, right?” 

What has given credibility to the rumours of Musk launching his own smartphone brand in the international market is Musk himself. On November 27, the tech entrepreneur announced that he may launch his own smartphone brand.

“…if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone”.

Musk's meeting with Apple CEO Cook:

On Thursday, Musk met Cook at Apple’s Headquarters. Musk has now clarified that his plan to move out of App Store has been shelved, after he had a fruitful conversation with Cook. Musk also claimed that the apprehensions have been mutually resolved. However, Apple is yet to issue a statement on Musk’s new assertion.