Elon Musk has shared his intent to “go to war” with Apple. The Twitter chief has expressed his displeasure with Apple’s 30 percent tax on Apple Store applications. Musk has revealed that Apple has threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store. However, the app is still available on the App Store. Elon Musk, in a series of Tweets, criticized the “secret 30% tax on everything” on the Apple App Store. He then goes on to demand that Apple publish all censorship actions it has taken in the past. In another recent tweet, Elon Musk called it a “battle for the future of civilization.” claiming that all lies are tyranny, and that “free speech is lost even in America.”
Although it remains unconfirmed why Apple is allegedly threatening to “withhold” Twitter from the App Store, tweets and Musk’s comments indicate that it might stem from the social media platform’s new moderation policy to safeguard “free speech.” Apple is yet to confirm these claims; however, this is not the first time the iPhone maker has threatened to remove an app from its App Store. For instance, it removed Parler, a Twitter alternative, from its App Store following the US Capitol building riots early last year. The app was restored in May 2021 after Parler updated its content and moderation practices. Similar claims are made by Lbry, which said Apple asked the company to “filter some search terms.” The company said, “Apple may make good products, but they have been opposed to free speech for some time.”
It also remains unclear why Apple stopped advertising on the platform, though Musk says the company does not want to support free speech. Reuters points out that Apple spent an estimated $131,600 on Twitter ads between November 10 and 16, down from $220,800 between October 16 and 22, the week before Musk closed the Twitter deal. The report adds that the iPhone maker was the top advertiser on Twitter in the first quarter of 2022. Musk is also unhappy with Apple and Google for charging a 30 percent fee on in-app purchases. Twitter plans to roll out Twitter Blue worldwide for $8. That means for all subscribers, the company would take a 30 percent cut. “Did you know Apple puts a secret 30% tax on everything you buy through their App Store?” Musk said.
It seems unlikely that Musk will be able to change Apple’s mind about its 30 percent commission. Again, if Fortnite’s billions couldn’t do it, the 150,000 Twitter users paying $8 for Twitter Blue through iOS in-app purchases probably won’t do the trick either. Regardless of what one’s opinion is of how Musk has been running Twitter since he acquired the company and took it private last month, publicly “going to war” with Apple is likely to be a losing battle.