Elon Musk declared war on Apple on Monday afternoon. A Twitter war, anyway. The new owner of Twitter very publicly objects to the 30% fee the iPhone-maker claims from purchases made through the iPhone software store, and also says Apple has threatened to pull the Twitter app from the App Store. He also asked, “Do they [Apple] hate free speech in America?”
An open conflict with Apple is a risky move by Musk, as Twitter needs Apple much more than Apple needs Twitter.
Elon Musk’s Twitter war on Apple
Elon Musk doesn’t do things in a small way. The billionaire is trying to upend the auto industry with Tesla cars, and hopes to travel to Mars in a SpaceX rocket.
So when he objected to some Apple policies, he didn’t schedule a meeting Apple CEO Tim Cook. No, he went on Twitter on Monday to post a series of openly inflammatory tweets.
Musk started by saying, “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?” Musk is positioning Twitter as a haven for free speech.
Shortly afterward, Musk tweeted, “Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.”
Apple’s reason is not hard to guess. It’s Apple policy to ban applications that spread hate speech, calls to violence, etc. And Musk has made it clear he is making Twitter open to exactly those things. He’s in the process of reversing all bans on users who had violated Twitter’s previous rules against inciting violence, hate speech, etc.
Musk literally said he’d ‘go to war’ over App Store revenue sharing
Next, the owner of Twitter accused the iPhone-maker of charging a “secret 30% tax” on purchases made on the App Store.
Apple has long taken a 30% cut of revenue passing through its software store. It’s hardly a secret, as it was the basis for the company’s highly publicized court battle with Epic Games.
Musk then posted a meme showing a car labeled “Elon” leaving a highway lableled “Pay 30%” and driving up an exit labeled “Go to War.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022
Update: Musk subsequently deleted the tweet. Here’s an archive version.
Exactly what that means isn’t clear. But he already raised the possibility of making a Twitter phone.