By Shaan Khan
A flagship smartphone is a tech company’s pride and joy; they represent the full extent of a company’s effort and ingenuity. They do so to become the trendsetters of the industry—to set new standards on what the technology can provide us.
But in recent years, as we have seen with the Samsung S21 or the iPhone 13, the numbers in their names get bigger while the number of innovations only grow thinner.
Yearly development cycles within the industry now are seemingly defined by improving what already works, such as extra pixels, greater battery life or slightly more screen real-estate.
If you’re finding smartphones becoming increasingly lacklustre, then you probably have your arms wide open for a new competitor to enter and disrupt the smartphone space. Who better to do it than Tesla—the company that disrupted the motor vehicle industry with its ground breaking EVs that were able to pull off being fast, flashy and environmentally friendly all at the same time.
Well, Tesla might be shifting some focus away from their engineless, self-driving machines to work on their very own smartphone, with many rumours circulating all over the web that the phone will be called the ‘Tesla Model Pi’.
Now the question is, are we going to get something bold and daring like the Cybertruck? Or another company banking off the success of its business, brand and smartphone popularity, just to then make the bare-minimum effort in having their smartphone stand out from the rest of the crowd?
The Validity of Tesla Model Pi Rumours
While many news sources treat the Tesla phone rumours as information leaks, there hasn’t been any way in proving if the rumours are just pure speculation. So it’s best to treat the rumours with a grain of salt. But the rumours are far from being completely baseless since to picture what would go into a Tesla phone is to investigate the mind and works of Elon Musk and his companies.
Why would this matter? Well, the man that sits comfortably in the limelight, Elon Musk, is very vocal about his ideas and opinions and doesn’t shy away from them in the public eye. When you think about the Cybertruck, picture it as Elon Musk’s personality on show. The same goes for all the products and services under every company Elon Musk owns; they are all about being bold and daring, with the power to revolutionise society.
If the Apple ecosystem sounds cool to you where iCloud, AirPods, iPhones, MacOS and much more are all interconnected, then imagine an Elon ecosystem. Where all his insane creations are interconnected, that a Tesla smartphone has the power to connect with Elon’s creations unlike any other smart device. This is where the beauty of the Tesla Model Pi rumours lye—the extraordinary implications of an Elon ecosystem that can begin with this Tesla smartphone.
Let’s begin with the first exciting rumour—Neuralink connectivity.
Reading the technology’s description, you’d probably think I’m reading off a script from a sci-fi movie. But, in fact, the quote comes from the Neuralink Corporation’s website, a company founded by Elon Musk.
The quote states that its company’s mission is,
“Developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers.”
It sounds unreal. The process is achieved by planting a computer chip into the human brain that allows for your mind to communicate directly with computers.
The technology aims to cure or aid people with neurological issues such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia and spinal cord injuries. One way this is achieved is by having the ability to control a smartphone purely with your brain and without the need of using your fingers or voice. This is a feature that can be beneficial for everyone for the sake of convenience, which is why it’s rumoured to be included in the TESLA Model Pi smartphone.
The possibilities are endless. You could perhaps read or construct a text message with your thoughts or even have music play within your mind without the need for speakers or headphones! It seems like this will only be made possible with a Tesla Model Pi as a timed exclusive at the very least.
Elon Musk’s companies have been at the forefront of using renewable energy to power their technology. Tesla has built an international supercharger network that allows their vehicles to be charged with electricity all over the world instead of using non-renewable fuel. Tesla also states that most of the energy that powers their network is renewable such as solar energy and that in 2021, the network energy would be 100% renewable, but this has yet to be proven.
Asides from Tesla, SpaceX uses solar energy to mitigate the total reliance on fossil fuel-generated electricity that goes into rocket production and space station operation.
So Musk is clearly a firm believer in renewable energies such as solar being the future. Which is why it’s rumoured to believe the Tesla Model Pi being solar charging capable—to have sunlight shine onto your phone as you literally watch your battery percentage go up… being ‘saved by the sun’ will have entirely new meaning to it.
Battery life and charging are one of the main gripes people have with their phones, where you can’t peacefully go out for a full day and not worry about your battery running out of juice and having to tether it to a cable that limits your mobility.
So imagine that by being outside, you are actively charging your phone almost effortlessly, but maybe not for those in Artic countries in wintertime—sorry guys looks like you’re stuck with the ‘soon-to-be archaic’ cable life.
While Elon Musk’s Neuralink network is one form of evolving the internet into becoming more biologically connective, Starlink is another venture by Musk that aims to transcend internet access beyond internet towers on earth, but into space, with internet satellite dishes.
The reason why is that internet satellite dishes in space offer a greater range of internet access for people on earth, unlike internet towers.
Many of us struggle to find internet coverage in certain areas we visit on our planet, especially in countries with a weak infrastructure of internet towers. In 2021, Starlink had begun to launch many of its internet satellites into space and have proven to work. However, Starlink has yet to reach their goal of becoming a mass commercial service, but if rumours are correct, the Tesla Model Pi will be the first smartphone to use Starlink internet.
So already, the Tesla Model Pi have rumoured features that are far from gimmicky but essential in solving the greatest drawbacks of modern smartphones, from their controls, battery life and internet connectivity. But can the same be said about the next rumoured features in this list?
Crypto Mining & Mars Coins
The digital & decentralised currency of crypto is on the rise, thanks to its key benefits that include:
- Counterfeit-proof and fraudster-protection due to every crypto transaction being recorded onto a public list known as ‘blockchain’ that allows you to validate every transaction you’ve made and every transaction being original and non-replicable.
- Not issued or processed by banks, governments, or other intermediaries, which cuts out their payment process fees and doesn’t allow them to trace your transactions.
- Cryptocurrency is formed through a digital mining process that allows anyone to use a computer to generate crypto for themselves—sort of like printing money, but just a much timelier process to generate anything substantial.
Elon Musk has been a proponent of cryptocurrency, calling out the ones he dislikes for being non-sustainable and those he supports, such as Dogecoin. Musk also has danced around the concept for a cryptocurrency known as ‘Marscoin’, which would be ‘the currency of choice’ on Mars. His company SpaceX also plan on building a city onto the red planet as well.
This is why the rumoured feature of being able to mine Crypto, in particular, Marscoins, on the Tesla Model Pi is highly plausible. Crypto-mining has been a process usually conducted on high-end desktop PCs for the power they can draw to mine crypto. Less powerful computers throughout the years have been coined as ’a waste of time’ to mine crypto for how painstakingly long it takes.
However, smaller devices have seen a huge bump in performance since 2020, with Apple playing a key role in the shift by officially moving away from Intel computer chips to create their own known as ‘Apple Silicon’. They have blown people away with their power and efficiency for the small compact machines they have been deployed in. So it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Tesla aims to create their own chipsets that are highly optimised for crypto-mining without the drawbacks on the smartphone’s overall performance.
The ability to change the colour of a tech product you own at no extra cost has been making waves recently in the car industry. First, with a patent leak on the rumoured Apple car revealing the exterior will be made of OLED screens to digitally customise the vehicle’s colour and design on the fly. Then BMW just announced at CES 2021 that an upcoming vehicle of theirs will do the same—it looks like BMW beat Apple to the punch.
It seems the Tesla Model Pi wants to bring this technology to smartphones. This could be achieved by using an additional AMOLED screen as the shell of the smartphone that can change colours and used as a display for live graphics, notifications or to operate the phone.
Another idea people speculate for this rumour is that the Tesla Model Pi will use a photochromic coating that will allow the material of the smartphone to change colour depending on the lighting and brightness of the environment.
Yes, that’s right. The man with a company dedicated to space exploration has rumoured to include an astrophotography lens in the Tesla Model Pi. This allows the smartphone to capture pictures of objects in space such as celestial events, in-depth images of neighbouring planets and stars, nebulae and galaxies that are invisible to the human eye. So now you can be the special few that create those desktop wallpapers of galaxies caught in the night sky on earth.
Price & Release Date
One rumour predicts the Tesla Model Pi will be priced anywhere between $800-$1200 for its first iteration, which brings it within range of the high-end phones that exist today. However, the Tesla phone at this price is expected not to include all the features mentioned in this list but the smartphone could be released anywhere between 1-3 years.
Now with all the features factored into a Tesla Model Pi, many believe it will come in a later iteration of the model after seeing how the first Tesla Model Pi performs in the marketplace. This advanced version of the Tesla Model Pi is expected to be priced anywhere between $2500-$4500! This would make it potentially the most expensive flagship phone on the market, with an expected release date between 2025 and 2030, the timeframe that SpaceX will be pushing to have humans exploring Mars—bringing me onto my final and most interesting point to ponder.
A ‘Mars Phone’?
When hearing about ‘Mars Coins’, it felt like all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place about the purpose of this Tesla Model Pi. That an ‘Elon Ecosystem’ wouldn’t be complete without having a smartphone work on Mars, and the Tesla Model Pi seems to have all the right features that allow it to do so. We have also entered the age of Mars exploration, with the next ten years being the window for SpaceX to establish a settlement on Mars, then build a human society there. So the rumours of the Tesla Model Pi have surfaced at a coincidental time that aligns with the space exploration plans from Elon Musk.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see a Tesla Model Pi being the smartphone assigned to the astronauts making their way to Mars in the future. To use the astronomical lens on the camera array to examine what flies in and out of their orbit when away from the base or utilise the Neuralink technology to access smartphone information and controls with their mind while the astronauts are encumbered by their spacesuits and using their hands for different equipment.
Starlink also plan to launch their satellites into the Mars orbit for settlers to access the internet, and if a capitalist economy is established there, you could have the power to communicate and trade with people on Mars and even Earth, with the power of Starlink and crypto mining on the Tesla Model Pi, with Marscoins being the main currency on the red planet.
What other features would you expect from a smartphone on Mars?