Elon Musk's Feud With Apple Criticized By Tesla Bulls, Others: 'Frontloading A Fight With Cook…Won't Work'

Zinger Key Points
  • Elon Musk hinted over the weekend that he will likely launch a phone if app stores block Twitter.
  • The billionaire on Monday took to Twitter to call out Apple for pulling out most ads.

Twitter owner Elon Musk launched an attack against Apple Inc. AAPL on Monday for pausing most of the ads on the social media platform.

What Happened: Musk even questioned Apple's commitment to free speech. But it appears that his outbursts have not gone down well even with his staunchest supporters.

Tesla bulls Gary Black of Future Fund and Ross Gerber of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth And Investment Management did not take kindly to Musk’s comments.

Gerber reminded Musk about his “tiff” with Apple in the past. The Tesla CEO had previously criticized the 30% app store fee Apple levies, calling it a “tax on internet.” Musk himself confessed in 2020 that he had sought an appointment with Apple CEO Tim Cook in 2018 when Tesla was on the brink to discuss a potential sale to the tech giant, but Cook promptly turned down the request.

Gerber also took a dig at Apple for pulling back ads amid a challenging environment. 

See Also: Advertisers Are Secretly Fearing Twitter With Musk At The Helm - And He Needs Them

Black, meanwhile, said the decision by Apple may have to do with free speech, as Musk said. Uncertainty may have served as pushback, Black added.

“I would bet they (will) come back if you can assure on brand safety and product adjacency concerns,” the fund manager said.

Later when Musk shared on Twitter a pic of his bedside table with empty cans of diet coke and two guns, Black wasn't impressed.

Citing an advertising director, he said user metrics have come way down and brand safety is an issue, as ads appear next to pornography and anti-Semitic posts. Nobody at Twitter was responding to complaints from advertisers, he added. He also noted discrepancies between campaign data from the Twitter Ads API and User Interface.

Advertisers, therefore, are also not able to get accurate data about campaign performance, he added.

Apple Cares A Hoot? Mashable reporter Matt Binder said Apple isn’t likely to be rattled by Musk, given the tech giant let go of Fortnite game developer Epic Games, which was making over $1 billion in revenue on its App Store.

University of Washington Professor Carl Bergstrom sees Musk’s whining as a preemptive move. “My guess is that Musk is trying to manufacture a feud with Apple so he can claim retaliation when the Twitter app is removed from the app store for violating Apple's TOS,” he said.

Journalist Kara Swisher had a more scathing take. The podcast host said, “frontloading a fight” with Cook with “specious nonsense” won’t work. Giving two reasons, she said Cook isn’t a “manic toddler hopped up on Twinkies and weaponry cosplay,” and no advertiser would like to spend his marketing money in “Thunderdome of toxic asininity.”

Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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