Tesla Phone: Everything We Know (And Don't Know) About the Upcoming Smartphone

Separating fact from fiction on the speculated Tesla smartphone. Explore rumored features, Elon Musk's comments, and the potential timeline for this futuristic device.

By Abhishek Chandel
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Tesla Phone: Everything We Know (And Don't Know) About the Upcoming Smartphone

Tesla Phone: Everything We Know (And Don't Know) About the Upcoming Smartphone

Tesla has earned global recognition for their forward-thinking electric vehicles powered by space-age technology. Elon Musk has developed a cult-like following as a modern-day Tony Stark. So when rumors swirl of Musk unveiling a Tesla smartphone, the possibilities capture people's imaginations despite any evidence. Still, with Tesla's track record, it's tempting to wonder "what if?"

Rumors and Speculation

YouTube Concept Stirs Excitement

In early 2021, Antonio DeRosa of ADR Studio Design uploaded a concept video showcasing his vision for a hypothetical "Tesla Model Pi" phone. DeRosa's slick animations depict features like a holographic display, neural lace connectivity, solar charging, and Mars travel functionality. The video fanned existing rumors into further speculation online despite clearly being intended as a creative design exercise, not a leak of an actual smartphone under development.

Musk Hints at Alternative Smartphone Possibility

Upon facing backlash over allowing former President Trump back onto Twitter, Elon Musk tweeted that if Apple and Google remove Twitter from their app stores, he would make an alternative phone. While showing Musk is open to smartphone development to ensure access to his companies' services, the conditions around this statement make it an uncertain pledge at best rather than confirmation of rumors.

Futuristic Concepts Stoke Excitement and Skepticism

Several purported features of the fantasy Tesla phone set the internet abuzz while straining credulity:

  • Neuralink Integration: Neuralink is developing a brain interface to control devices with thought alone. But the medical use cases and long testing timelines make this seem distant for a smartphone.

  • Cryptocurrency Mining: Processing power-intensive crypto mining on a phone seems impractical both technically and from a battery life standpoint.

  • Mars Communication: Concept videos show using the phone to communicate from Mars. Connecting with Musk’s SpaceX aspirations, this remains firmly in the science fiction realm currently.

Reasons to Be Skeptical

Lack of Official Confirmation from Tesla

Despite over a year of rumors and speculation, Tesla executives have made no public statements confirming or even commenting on the possibility of a smartphone release. As a company very focused on shaping their public image, their silence speaks volumes. If Tesla were genuinely developing a phone to debut new technology, Elon Musk would almost certainly be stoking hype on social media.

Timelines Unrealistic for Proposed Features

The highly ambitious features rumored for the phone like cryptocurrency mining and Neuralink integration face massive challenges to be both technically and commercially ready in the coming years:

  • Neuralink Brain Interface: Experts say Neuralink's brain implant tech has potential but is still in fledgling stages, with the company itself admitting to being 3-4 years minimum away from commercial viability, and that’s just for medical applications. Packing it into a smartphone could take over a decade more.

  • Cryptocurrency Mining: Today's leading phones would likely overheat and have battery life measured in minutes, not hours, if attempting intensive cryptocurrency mining. Major advances would be needed before this becomes practical.

Musk Identifies Smartphones as "Yesterday's Technology"

On an earnings call in 2020, Elon Musk stated that "Smartwatches & phones are yesterday’s technology, Neuralinks are the future." With Neuralink not expected to eliminate smartphones for many years, this quote calls into question any rumors that Tesla plans to release a phone now which could soon be obsolete.

Potential Release Timeline

Based on expert opinions around emerging technologies like Neuralink, a smartphone from Tesla with unprecedented capabilities could realistically be 10-15 years away, if the product ever makes it from rumor mill to reality.

If Tesla were to actually unveil a smartphone in the coming years, history suggests it would initially ship with rather conventional features and more advanced functionality would trickle out over time via software updates (not unlike the semi-autonomous features of Tesla's vehicles). This incremental improvement approach could eventually enable game-changing applications.

What a Tesla Smartphone Could Offer

Seamless Vehicle Connectivity

As Tesla continues to add autonomy and new cabin features to vehicles like the Model 3 via over-the-air updates, expect a complementary smartphone, if it materializes, to enable control, monitoring, and configuration of a user’s car through rich apps.

Access to SpaceX Satellite Internet

Collaboration between the Musk-led Tesla and SpaceX could allow tapping into SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network for connectivity rivals couldn’t match. However, the accompanying antenna engineering and battery requirements could pose hurdles.

Solar Charging Case

Tesla's solar roof and Powerwall products exemplify expertise with renewable energy harvesting and storage. Translating solar charging capabilities into a phone case (less so the phone itself initially) aligns with Tesla’s eco-friendly ethos.

Astrophotography Features

Marriage of Tesla’s camera and machine learning prowess evidenced in the video capabilities of their vehicles, with SpaceX’s out-of-this-world aspirations, inspires visions of capturing everything from lunar eclipses to glimpses of distant galaxies.


In summary, a uniquely futuristic Tesla smartphone exists now only in imagination and online chatter. But Musk has taught us not to constrain ideas by current limitations. Perhaps a pioneering device enabling unheard-of functionality lies ahead in Tesla's roadmap, even if mostly hidden from public view for competitive reasons until prototypes reach fruition.

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