Elon Musk teases developing "Grok Phone" if Apple integrates OpenAI's 'woke nanny AI spyware' into its OS

Grok X Phone
Will Elon Musk actually release (and succeed) with a "X" Grok phone? (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

What you need to know

  • Apple just announced its partnership with OpenAI, bringing ChatGPT to its ecosystem.
  • While the iPhone maker potentially addressed security and privacy concerns with its Private Cloud Compute system, users are still seemingly concerned about these issues if Apple integrates OpenAI's technology into its operating system.
  • Elon Musk teased that he might inevitably develop Grok Phone to avoid these issues.

Apple just held its long-anticipated WWDC 2024 event at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. The event was impressive, and new announcements kept rolling, including iOS 18 updates (Finally! We can arrange apps and widgets in any open space on the Home Screen). But perhaps the show-stopper (at least for most people) must've been Apple Intelligence and the new OpenAI partnership to bring ChatGPT to the ecosystem.

If Microsoft's controversial Windows Recall feature is anything to go by, privacy and security are essential for users. Billionaire Elon Musk is arguably one of the harshest critics of AI advances made by giant corporations such as Microsoft and OpenAI. As you might have guessed, he weighed in on Apple's OpenAI partnership and Apple Intelligence announcements.

During the WWDC event, Apple unveiled its own Apple Intelligence. The model runs on-device with over 3 billion parameters, allowing users to interact with it locally. However, Apple will rely on Private Cloud Compute for more complex tasks or prompts requiring more computing power, which promises security and privacy. The service will only use your data to fulfill your request. It won't store the data for future reference or make it accessible to anyone. While it all checks out on paper, we'll have to wait and see how things pan out once it's broadly available. 

Grok Phone with better security and privacy?

Elon Musk in an interview

(Image credit: BBC News)

Musk was blatantly enraged by Apple's new partnership with OpenAI, bringing ChatGPT to the ecosystem and a much-needed overhaul for its seemingly dated Siri assistant. The billionaire seems to want to keep everything AI at arm's length. According to Musk:

"If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies. That is an unacceptable security violation. And visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage."

The billionaire's remarks gained quite a bit of traction on X (formerly Twitter), with some users even suggesting that it might be time to develop a Tesla phone.

Musk is seemingly open to the idea of developing a Grok/Tesla-themed phone, and it might potentially come to fruition when/if Apple integrates "woke nanny AI spyware" into its operating system. 

AI advances seem like a huge undertaking. For instance, Apple had to pull the plug on the development of its electric car and channel the allocated resources to its AI ambitions. The same can be said about Microsoft, which is all in on AI, with insiders claiming it's turned into an overnight "glorified IT department" for OpenAI, which has ultimately cost it its Azure department

It will be interesting to see how Musk develops the Grok phone and how it competes with top players in the category, like Apple and Samsung. The latest lineup of devices from both companies is already heavily AI-focused and will likely get more aggressive.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.