Musk suggests that he wants to "go to war" against Apple, starts lobbing "tweet grenades"
These days you have to wonder just exactly what is going through the mind of multi-billionaire Elon Musk. After spending $44 billion to buy Twitter, Musk is acting like someone who never made a major decision in his life. He says one thing, reverses direction in a day and reverts back to his original thought a few days later. At this point, can Twitter board members trust him to pick which flavor of ice cream cone to buy at Baskin Robbins? After all, the ice cream purveyor offers 31 flavors.
Elon Musk is focused on Apple
Now, Elon is focusing (best as he can) on Apple. Reuters reports that Musk has disseminated several tweets in which he accuses the tech giant of trying to block Twitter from the App Store and said in a tweet that "Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?" If true, Apple would simply be one name from a list of advertisers that have left the platform since the Musk era began for Twitter.
Musk spent Monday attacking Apple
He also tagged Apple's CEO in a tweet that asked, "What’s going on here @tim_cook?" Ad metrics firm Pathmatics shows that Apple spent $131,600 on Twitter ads between November 10th and the 16th. That was down 40% from the $220,800 that Apple spent on Twitter ads between October 16th and October 22nd. That was the week before Musk closed on his Twitter purchase.
According to a Twitter internal document obtained by The Washington Post, Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter during the first quarter of this year having spent $48 million which accounted for 4% of Twitter's revenue during the three months.
Musk also railed against the so-called "Apple Tax," which is the 15% to 30% cut of in-app transactions that Apple collects from developers for using its in-app payment platform. But in what can only be called an unhinged tweet, Musk writes "Did you know Apple puts a secret 30% tax on everything you buy through their App Store?" At this point, especially after the current legal battle with Epic Games, we would hardly call this a secret tax. Nor would we call this tweet a "spoiler alert" as Musk writes.
In a meme that the executive posted on Twitter and then removed, Musk suggests that he will "go to war" with Apple. Of course, some politicians used Elon's ranting to complain about the App Store which has been under attack by lawmakers who see it as a monopoly since iOS does not allow sideloading. That is the use of third-party app stores to download apps on a device. Google allows this on Android, but Apple says that it bans sideloading to protect users from installing malware.
The White House is concerned about the hate speech that has become rampant on Twitter
Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who was one of the lawmakers seeking to pass antitrust legislation against large tech companies like Apple and Google, said, "This is why we need to end the App Store duopoly before the end of this year. No one should have this kind of market power."
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre noted that the White House was following the situation and in a statement, it was clear that the Biden administration is focusing on another, more troubling aspect of Musk's acquisition of Twitter. " She stated that "We have always been very clear that when it comes to social media platforms, it is their responsibility to make sure that when it comes to misinformation, when it comes to the hate that we’re seeing, that they take action."
Since Elon purchased Twitter, many users have complained about a proliferation of hate speech that apparently is now being tolerated on the platform. Such activity could get Twitter banned from the App Store and Google Play Store. According to a previous tweet from Musk, such action would lead him to develop an alternative phone to compete with iOS and Android handsets.