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  • Kyle Chua

Tesla Phone: What Rumours Are Saying So Far

American electric car manufacturer Tesla could soon be competing with the likes of Apple, Samsung and Huawei in the smartphone space, if rumours and speculations are to be believed.

Tesla Phone Render by Antonio DeRosa/ADR Studio
Tesla Phone Render by Antonio DeRosa/ADR Studio

The Texas-based company is reportedly developing an innovative new smartphone that could incorporate some of the technology used by its electric vehicles. While there has yet to be an official announcement, the possibility of such a device being in the works is not entirely out of reach. The company’s CEO Elon Musk has surprised consumers in the past and this could be the next ace card hidden up his sleeve.

Here’s everything we know about the mysterious Tesla phone so far:

Are The Rumours Even Real?

Okay, let’s get one thing straight: as of right now, the existence of the Tesla phone remains a rumour. As mentioned earlier, until Tesla itself makes the announcement, it’s best to take all information about this mysterious device with a grain of salt. Tesla CEO Elon Musk himself previously tweeted that smartwatches and smartphones are “yesterday’s technology”, seemingly hinting that he’s not interested in offering these products.

Then again, there’s often some truth in widely reported rumours. Plus, no one has outright debunked the existence of the Tesla phone yet, which means it could still be real. After all, it might make financial sense for the company to leverage its proprietary technology in expanding its product lines.

What Features Will The Phone Come With?

Once again, because not a lot has been confirmed or denied, there’s been a lot of conflicting speculations about what features the supposedly state-of-the-art phone is set to include. What seems consistent with all the information available so far is the device’s name – the Tesla Model Pi or the Tesla Pi.

Tesla solar panel. Credit: Tesla

As for features, the smartphone might incorporate solar panels in its design, which would allow it to be recharged without needing to be plugged in. If true, this could be a gamechanger for charging technology, with users now having the ability to charge on-the-go when other options aren’t available.

Tesla Phone Render by Antonio DeRosa/ADR Studio
Tesla Phone Render by Antonio DeRosa/ADR Studio

The Model Pi could additionally feature Starlink integration, giving users access to fast, satellite-based broadband internet with a wider coverage than other networks. The coverage is so wide that the connection reaches the planet Mars. You're eyes aren't playing tricks on you. Yes, rumours claim that users will be able to use the device in Mars.

Starlink is the satellite internet division in SpaceX that provides advanced broadband services. SpaceX is a company that Elon Musk also owns.

Credit: SpaceX

Satellite phones aren't entirely new, but they are generally quite costly to use compared to usual LTE plans. The phone's launch could perhaps make the new internet standard more accessible to the greater public. That is, of course, if Tesla manages to find a way to make both the service and the rumoured phone affordable.

The device might also have Neuralink support, the in-development technology which will allow users to control electronic devices by simply using their thoughts. This is possible thanks to Brain-Machine-Interface (BMI) chips, which are implanted in the brain to analyze and interpret signals. In case you're unfamiliar, Neuralink is another company that Elon Musk owns – one which is devoted to the study of connecting humans to computers.

Credit: Neuralink

Among all the rumoured features, the Neuralink idea seems the least practical. For one, the technology seems a ways off from being ready for mass consumption and use. Two, it'll require sophisticated hardware to work, which will surely blow up the phone's cost. Finally, going by Elon Musk's quote, Neuralink phases out the current concept of the smartphone rather than enhance it. This means that adding it to a traditional smartphone can seem inessential and superfluous.

But, again, we don't know yet what Tesla could have in store. And we don't want to rule anything out until the company itself denies it outright.

We're also expecting the Model Pi to include better Tesla vehicle control. Since the app is already available on Android and iPhone, Tesla could maybe add a few exclusive features to the app on its own phone to set itself apart from other versions.

When Will It Launch?

Credit: Tesla

Because there has yet to be an official announcement, no one can say for sure when the Model Pi will launch – if it even exists in the first place. And with development shrouded in secrecy, there's no way for experts to give a smart prediction of when it could come out. But if we're to go by current speculation, it likely won't release until next year the earliest. There would be solid evidence of the phone's existence by now if it were to come out later this year, so a 2023 or 2024 launch sounds most sensible.

How Much Will It Cost?

Tesla Phone Render by Antonio DeRosa/ADR Studio
Tesla Phone Render by Antonio DeRosa/ADR Studio

The same with the release date, when it comes to the price of the Model Pi, it's still unknown. No one can give a rough estimate as well, considering how the specs are still up in the air. Given Tesla's other products though and the rumoured features, the debut phone likely won't be cheap. Price-wise, it's safe to expect it to fall into the higher-end of the smartphone spectrum, not too far off from Apple and Samsung's premium flagships.

  • Tesla is reportedly developing an innovative new smartphone that could incorporate some of the technology used by its electric vehicles

  • The Tesla Model Pi, as it's currently being called, is said to feature solar charging, Starlink integration and Neuralink support, among other features.

  • The release date and price is still unknown, given how the mysterious device has yet to become official.

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