Musk Meets Apple’s Tim Cook, Gives Critical Update on App Store Twitter Ban ‘Misunderstanding’
Musk Meets Apple’s Tim Cook, Gives Critical Update on App Store Twitter Ban ‘Misunderstanding’

By Tom Ozimek

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he met with Apple CEO Tim Cook and the two resolved the issue of Twitter potentially being cut from Apple’s App Store, which Musk had earlier identified as a threat facing the social media giant.

Musk said in a post on Twitter late Wednesday that he and Cook had a “good conversation” and that they “resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store.”

“Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so,” Musk added.

Musk also shared a brief video clip of a pond at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, saying in the caption that Cook had shown him around the “beautiful” site.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announces a new lineup of products during a special event at Apple Park in Cupertino, Calif., on March 8, 2022. (Brooks Kraft/Apple Inc./Handout via Reuters)

‘What’s Going On?’

Musk’s update comes toward the end of a tumultuous week in which the billionaire accused Apple of threatening to block Twitter from its App Store and that the iPhone maker had dialed back its advertising on the social media platform almost entirely.

Musk said Apple had given no explanation for pulling its ad revenue from Twitter, while implying the Big Tech giant hates “free speech.”

“Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?” he asked. “Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store,” Musk wrote, “but won’t tell us why.” Musk also asked CEO Tim Cook in a post, “What’s going on?”

Another grievance made by Musk was Apple’s up to 30 percent fee it charges software developers for in-app purchases. The Twitter owner posted a meme suggesting that, rather than pay the commission, he was willing to “go to war” with Apple.

Also, Musk in May of this year wrote that Apple’s 30 percent levy is like having a “30 percent tax” added on. “Literally 10 times higher than it should be,” he wrote in another post at the time.

Apple and Cook have not publicly commented on Musk’s earlier claims nor on the latest information that the “misunderstanding” had been resolved.

The Epoch Times has contacted Apple for comment.

Illustration of a cellphone displaying a photo of Elon Musk placed on a computer monitor filled with Twitter logos in Washington, on Aug. 5, 2022. (Samuel Corum/AFP via Getty Images)

Implications of App Store Ban

Pulling Twitter from Apple’s App Store would have meant the social media platform’s app wouldn’t be available on any iOS-using devices aside from a web browser.

Such a tactic was deployed by Apple, Google, Amazon, and others against free speech-promoting social media platform Parler in 2021. Critics of the move compared it to a form of censorship.

Several months after Parler changed its content moderation policies, the app was restored on the App Store.

But data show Parler’s usage dropped significantly since early 2021, after Amazon Web Services abruptly took the platform down for about a month as the company had to find a new host.

Musk’s recent remarks about Apple came after several events sparked speculation that the iPhone maker might block Twitter from its App Store.

The head of Apple’s App Store appeared to delete his account on Nov. 22, while Apple removed all the Twitter posts from its official account around the same time. Cook’s account, however, remains active.

Musk also said that if Apple were to block Twitter from its App Store, he would make “an alternative phone.”

Jack Phillips and Reuters contributed to this report.

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