Elon Musk posted an update reporting that he met with Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc. and that they resolved all misunderstandings regarding Twitter’s rumored removal from the App Store.
The meeting represents a dramatic de-escalation after Musk unleashed a tweet storm alleging Apple threatened to remove the Twitter app from the App Store. He uploaded then deleted a meme suggesting he would instead “go to war” than pay Apple’s 30% platform fees.
Regarding removing Twitter from the App Store, Apple has yet to make any public announcements. However, the likelihood of it happening grew as Musk began resurrecting accounts, including the account of former President Donald Trump that Twitter had previously blocked for violating its rules.
Trump’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (among other platforms) were suspended regarding his posts that urged radicals to storm the US Capitol. Both Google and Apple have strict anti-hate speech, anti-harassment, and anti-discrimination rules, and both temporarily banned the right-wing online service Parler.
Parler’s poor content moderation procedures were rapidly exposed, revealing how much violence and hate rhetoric was accepted on the network. Both Apple and Google removed the app from their respective app stores at the time. Given Musk’s current Twitter strategy, it appears that he anticipates the app will meet the same fate.
On Monday, Musk sent several tweets “attacking” Apple, alleging that its App Store moderation standards violated the spirit of free expression, a criticism that Republican lawmakers later supported. Mr. Musk made apparent threats to remove Twitter from the App Store, accusing Apple of reducing its advertising investment on Twitter, thereby cutting off an essential source of revenue for the company.
However, the only way to get iPhone software is through Apple’s App Store. If the Twitter app is pulled off, the online platform will lose one of its main distribution outlets, even though the service is accessible on the web. Furthermore, Apple compels iPhone app creators to pay 15% to 30% of any online products marketed through their software. Musk has claimed that one of his Twitter plans is to make billions of dollars through memberships, such as Twitter Blue, offered in the iPhone app. Apple would make millions if it expanded to Musk’s goals.
He has previously criticized Apple’s app store fees, even though the Tesla application does not allow in-app purchases. He has also blamed Apple’s alleged aim to create electric automobiles, even though Apple’s secretive initiative has never exported a car.
However, Musk’s moves on Monday went beyond teasing and friendly competition, indicating that he might be prepared to fight in a lengthy PR war over Apple’s guidelines. In one tweet, he added a meme of a car driving off the road with the lines “Pay 30%” or “Go to War.” The vehicle chose the latter.
Musk did not provide any proof to back up his allegation, which he made in a series of posts criticizing the tech giant, including for allegedly limiting its advertising on Twitter.
Two days after declaring “war” on Apple, Musk tweeted that he would be meeting Cook at Apple HQ. Twitter and Apple did not immediately reply to requests for comment on Musk’s recent tweet. Apple has not publicly addressed Musk’s previous statements yet.
Musk’s ownership of Twitter, now in its second month, has been highlighted by widespread chaos within the firm as he tries to implement policies with fierce internal opposition on the site and makes the site profitable by implementing mass layoffs, resulting in additional staff losses.