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Is Apple Removing Twitter from the App Store? Elon Musk’s Claim, Explained

The angry little man is back

Elon Musk points a finger in the air while speaking.

Elon Musk has used his preferred means of communication (random tweets completely void of context) to state that Apple is apparently threatening to “withhold Twitter from its App Store” without telling him or Twitter as a company why. Variety reports that Apple has not responded to comment on this as yet.

This comes after the billionaire tweeted on Monday that Apple has “mostly” stopped ads on Twitter, somehow leading him to the conclusion that Apple hates free speech in America, apparently.

According to ad-spending tracking firm MediaRadar, Apple was one of Twitter’s top advertisers in 2022, spending an estimated $39 million on the platform so far this year, an estimated 84% of Apple’s total social media spending. However, these figures do not account for any dip in spending recently, so cannot confirm or deny Musk’s claims.

In the past, Musk has railed against Apple’s 30% tax on in-app purchases from software downloaded via the App Store, as well as accused the company of censoring certain apps, such as LBRY, a blockchain-based file-sharing and payment network.

Will Apple pull Twitter?

If Musk’s claims of Apple threatening to pull the social media app from the Store proved to be true, it wouldn’t be the first time that it’s happened. Just last year, Apple pulled so-called ‘free speech’ app Parler from its App Store after it was connected to the Capitol Riots of January 2021.

However, as this was a response to an act of inciting violence, it seems logical that it would take a similar level of controversy connected to Twitter for the App Store to remove it from its offering.

Despite his online rants, Musk seems to have a backup plan already if Apple were to do so.

Meanwhile, Musk recently suggested that he would build his own smartphone if Apple and/or Google pulled Twitter from their respective app stores. Right-wing podcaster and former OANN host Liz Wheeler tweeted on Friday: “If Apple & Google boot Twitter from their app stores, @elonmusk should produce his own smartphone. Half the country would happily ditch the biased, snooping iPhone & Android. The man builds rockets to Mars, a silly little smartphone should be easy, right?”

In response, Musk commented: “I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone.”

Essentially, Musk seems prepared to continue to throw money at the problem until it goes away or dies a slow death, his apparent MO. For now, Twitter is still available on the App Store and there is no other real evidence that it may pull the app, other than Musk’s tweet-based claims.

(featured image: Patrick Pleul – Pool/Getty Images)

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