Tesla, the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, is said to be developing a futuristic smartphone codenamed Model Pi.
Despite significant industry leaks and rumors, the Texas-based firm has remained mum on the alleged device. It has yet to finalize production plans and is keeping product development a secret.
Industry experts predict that the company will release its first smartphone late next year or early in 2024.
Tesla uses social media — mostly Twitter — to make new announcements after disbanding its public relations department in October 2020. Here’s all we know so far about Tesla’s smartphone.
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When Is the Tesla Pi Phone Coming Out?
Tesla has a history of introducing unique goods that are still on-brand, such as a Cybertruck-inspired all-electric vehicle for kids, an umbrella with its logo stamped on it, and a stainless-steel whistle.
Although adding a smartphone to the mix wouldn’t be as surprising, its introduction isn’t as realistic as the other products, at least not yet.
There are a few main reasons why we’re doubtful that this phone will ever be released:
- The majority of the rumors came from adrstudiodesign’s early 2021 YouTube video, although they clearly mention that these are the designer’s thoughts, not true Tesla leaks or details. The majority of the rumors we’ve seen seem to come from that source.
- We’ll go through them in more detail later, but some of the concepts for this phone, such as Neuralink support and connectivity on Mars, are a little too far out there to be practical right now.
- Those features don’t have to be included in the first version of the phone, thus a device could still be in development without them. When those concepts are floated so early, it’s understandable to be dubious.
- It would be pointless to put effort into a phone if one of the long-term side effects, or even plans, of brain-connected technology like Neuralink is to phase out phones entirely.
Price Rumors for the Tesla Pi Phone
A phone with all of the advanced features detailed here would set you back several thousand dollars. As more people use the technology, subsequent generations may become more reasonable, but we don’t expect the first iteration to be affordable for most people.
Assuming the phone is real (which we doubt) and that it will start out simple with only a few of the alleged features, it will likely cost between $800 and $1200.
Tesla Phone Specifications
The reports about this phone aren’t surprising, given Tesla’s over-the-top features in its existing goods, such as the Cybertruck’s nearly impenetrable exoskeleton and bioweapon defensive mode in some of their other vehicles.
- Vehicle control: A Tesla app for phones already exists to do basic automobile duties such as locking and unlocking the car, controlling media playing, and summoning the vehicle. If not built-in to the operating system, this app would almost certainly be preinstalled on the phone for quick access from the lock screen or via external buttons. It’s also likely that the app will only be available to Tesla phone owners.
- Astrophotography: Current phones use AI and sophisticated cameras to assist in night sky photography. When you combine that feature with SpaceX’s interplanetary concentration, which would eventually seep into this phone, you have a device capable of taking excellent images of cosmic objects.
- Tesla has a close relationship with SpaceX’s space-based internet provider, Starlink (Elon Musk is the CEO of both). The Tesla phone might potentially help fund Mars colonization, which has been a business aim since its inception.
- However, they’d have to figure out a means to not only hide the satellite phone’s large antenna but also guarantee decent service from such a compact device. One possibility is that it would function in places where a Starlink base already exists, such as a building or if it ever happens, a Tesla automobile equipped with the right antenna.
- Tesla makes solar panels and vehicles, so this isn’t a far-fetched concept. The phone is unlikely to run entirely on solar power, but it could come with a Tesla-branded casing that allows for some solar charging.
- Support for Neuralink: The concept of computers interacting with the brain is still science fiction, but Neuralink is one of the firms working on it. They claim to be “developing the first neural implant that will allow you to control a computer or mobile device from anywhere.” …simply by thinking about it, using the activity of your brain. Could Tesla’s phone be the first to achieve this feat? Because Musk owns Neuralink, an early version might run on any phone with the Neuralink app, but it’d also make sense to see it here.
It’s far more likely that something more modest—say, the first four or five functions, connected to a Tesla-branded version of Android—will be released first.
Specs and Hardware for the Tesla Phone
With no reputable sources to go on, it’s impossible to know what this phone would look like inside. It would contain all of the expected features, such as 1–2 TB of storage, 16 GB or more RAM, an AMOLED display, and a 6.5-inch screen.
Tesla putting solar panels within the device to allow recharging without the use of an electrical power source is perhaps the most feasible of all the rumors. This makes sense because it fits with Tesla’s environmentally conscious image while also utilizing the company’s existing solar technology.
Of course, whether solar charging technology is capable of keeping a phone charged throughout the day, especially when the phone spends most of its time in your pocket or purse, is a different story.