Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover continues to be a mess, and the future isn’t clear for one of the most influential social networks in the world. Musk’s Twitter troubles are hardly over, and the newest addition to a growing list of pain points is the prospect of Apple and Google banning Twitter from the iPhone and Android app stores. It turns out that’s actually an exciting possibility, and the reason has nothing to do with censorship or content moderation. Instead, a Twitter ban from Apple or Google might lead to Elon Musk creating his own smartphone, which we’ll call the Twitter phone.
Musk is struggling to turn Twitter into a different kind of experience, one that’s actually profitable. And he’s doing it while cutting the workforce significantly and trying to implement a new hardcore work mentality that employees don’t appreciate.
Unsurprisingly, the fast-paced changes that Musk has implemented so far have turned out to be massive failures that Twitter needed to fix immediately.
While doing that, Musk is also looking to reinstate Twitter users who were banned from the platform for violating its rules. One such user is former President Donald Trump.
All this action prompted discussions about whether Apple and Google might remove Twitter from their app stores. Responding to such speculation, Musk said on Twitter that he would make an alternative phone to iPhone and Android if it comes to that.
It’s too early to talk about a Twitter ban from Apple or Google. It’s still unclear whether Twitter will be able to continue to function as a company for the foreseeable future, given the massive layoffs, departures, and repeated bungles we’ve seen in the past few weeks.
Also, Twitter would have to fail miserably at content moderation for Apple and Google to consider banning the social network. And if it were to happen, the ban could be short-lived if Twitter implements changes to address whatever reasons force Apple and Google to ban the app.
But there’s no denying that the prospect is exciting. That is, the possibility of Elon Musk making a Twitter phone.
We’re currently living in a duopoly when it comes to smartphone platforms. You can only choose between iPhone and Android. And regulators in various countries already hate the power Apple and Google wield because of that.
As crazy as it may sound, a Twitter phone born out of hate is exciting. Especially if the Twitter phone could threaten that duopoly and put pressure on Apple and Google to hasten the pace of innovation.
We’d be years away from such a device. And there’s no guarantee that it will be a successful or widely available product. We can’t help but wonder how Elon Musk would go about making a Twitter phone and what such a device would have to offer.
Then again, Musk could fail spectacularly in trying to bring his own smartphone to market. As we’ve seen over and over again of late, many of Musk’s half-cocked ideas have been spectacular failures. And if Amazon and Facebook’s recent attempts have taught us anything, competing with Apple and Google is a massive challenge.
Not to mention that by the time a Twitter phone hits the market, a different type of device might already be in the process of “killing” the iPhone and Android phones.