Tesla Phone: News and Expected Price, Release Date, Specs; and More Rumors

Tesla Phone: News and Expected Price, Release Date, Specs; and More Rumors

There has been speculation about a potential Tesla phone, rumored to be called Model Pi or P, but after researching the rumors and using some common sense, I’m not convinced the evidence is there. Despite this, it’s interesting to consider what a smartphone from the highly successful automaker might look like.

When Will the Tesla Phone Be Released?

Tesla has a reputation for introducing unconventional, yet fitting products such as the Cybertruck-inspired electric vehicle for kids and a stainless steel whistle. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if news broke that Tesla is coming out with a phone. The problem is there isn’t any reliable news to back this up!

There are a few primary reasons I’m questioning whether this phone is due for an actual release:

  • Most of the rumors come from an early 2021 YouTube video from ADR Studio Design, but they clearly state those are the designer’s ideas, not real leaks or details from Tesla. Most of the stories around this topic that I’ve seen appear to be based on just that one source.
  • We’ll get into these more below, but the ideas for this phone are a bit too advanced to be realistic right now, like Neuralink support and connectivity on… Mars. Those capabilities don’t have to be in the phone’s first iteration, so a device could still be in the works without them. But it’s reasonable to be skeptical when those ideas are thrown around this early.
  • If one of the distant side effects, or even plans, of brain-connected technology like Neuralink is to phase out phones altogether, it’d be counterproductive to put work into one.

If those reasons aren’t enough, consider this comment from Telsa’s CEO on the future of smartphones:

Smartwatches & phones are yesterday’s technology, Neuralinks are the future.

That said, Musk is on record saying “I will make an alternative phone” in response to a post about X (then called Twitter) being removed from Apple and Google app stores. This has not happened, but if it were to happen, it seems Musk isn’t opposed to the idea of releasing his own phone to keep his social network alive.

Lifewire’s Release Date Estimate

We’ll take Musk’s Neuralink tweet as evidence that these rumors of a phone are simply fantasies. Granted, Tesla could still release a phone in the future, but there’s no reason to believe it’ll happen with the information we currently have. If (that’s a big if) this phone is genuinely being worked on in secret, and every rumor is accurate, there’s little chance we’d see it until closer to 2030.

Tesla Phone Price Rumors

A phone with all the advanced tech described below would cost more than a few thousand dollars. Subsequent versions could come down in price as more people start using the technology, but I wouldn’t expect the first iteration to be affordable for most people.

Assuming the phone is real (again, there’s no reason to believe so) and that it would start relatively basic with just a few of the rumored features, it’d likely sit at a more sensible $800-$1,200.

Pre-Order Information

An announcement would likely come many months before the phone’s official release, so pre-orders could start early. But without a release date to reference, nobody has any idea when pre-orders for Tesla Pi 5G could start, or if they ever will.

The 5 Best Smartphones of 2023

Tesla Pi 5G Features


Neuralink app concept.

Neuralink


Considering Tesla’s over-the-top features in their existing products, like the Cybertruck’s nearly impenetrable exoskeleton and bioweapon defense mode in some of their other vehicles, the rumors about this phone aren’t surprising.


Original rendering by Antonio DeRosa/ADR Studio.

Here’s what I’ve seen:

  • Satellite internet: New phones nowadays come with 5G, so while a Tesla Pi 5G phone would be likely here, too, there’s also SpaceX’s space-based internet service, Starlink, that the company could choose to use (Musk is the CEO of both). But they’d have to find a way to not only conceal the bulky antenna satellite phones have, but guarantee good service from such a small device. One theory is it would work where there’s already a Starlink base, like in a building or, if it ever happens, a Tesla car fitted with the appropriate antenna.
  • Solar charging: Tesla manufactures solar panels and vehicles, so this isn’t a far-fetched idea. It’s unlikely the phone would rely only on solar, but it could have a Tesla-branded case that enables some amount of solar charging.
  • Vehicle control: There’s already a Tesla app for phones to perform basic car functions: lock/unlock the car, control media playback, and summon the vehicle. This app would most assuredly be preinstalled on the phone, if not built-in to the operating system, for easy access directly from the lock screen or via external buttons. It’s also possible the app would offer unique options only to Tesla phone owners.
  • Astrophotography: Current phones already use AI and powerful cameras to help when photographing the night sky. Add that functionality to SpaceX’s extraterrestrial focus that would inevitably bleed over into this phone, and you’ve got a device capable of great photos of astronomical objects.
  • Crypto mining: Other hearsay is it’ll mine cryptocurrency. Musk has been public about cryptocurrencies in the past, so it’s not unreasonable to assume he’d want to embed this ability in a phone. While Bitcoin is more popular, and Musk presumably prefers the existing Dogecoin, the rumor is Tesla’s phone would mine a new coin called MarsCoin (a name Musk himself has tweeted about). Some serious hardware would need to be implemented for this to work reliably.
  • Neuralink support: The idea of computers interfacing with the brain is still essentially science fiction, and Neuralink is one of the companies working on it. They say they’re “designing the first neural implant that will let you control a computer or mobile device anywhere you go.“…with the activity of your brain, just by thinking about it. Could the first phone capable of such a feat be from Tesla? An early iteration could run on any phone with the Neuralink app, but it’d also make sense to see it here, considering Musk owns Neuralink.

Original rendering by Antonio DeRosa/ADR Studio.

It’s far more reasonable to see something tamer become available first—i.e., those first four or five features only, tied in with a Tesla-branded version of Android.

If this phone is real, and Tesla holds out a release until implantable brain-machine interfaces are available, we’ll have to wait several more years. While Musk is confident Neuralink is ready for humans, it wouldn’t be available to everyone right away because the first goal of the technology is to help people with paralysis.

Tesla Pi 5G Specs and Hardware

Assumptions are all anyone can run on with this phone, and with zero reliable sources to use, it’s unclear what this phone could look like on the inside. It would have all the standard components, like 512 GB to 1–2 TB of storage, 8–16 GB or RAM, and a screen around 6.5 inches.

As for the outside, check out the Tesla Model P concept designs created by ADR Studio, the source of most of these rumors. There are high-quality renderings you can look through beyond the ones we have used in this article.

The Latest News About the Tesla Phone

You can get more smartphone news from Lifewire, but here are other related stories and some rumors I’ve found about the Tesla phone specifically:

Brain-Computer Interfaces Could Put Your Thoughts at Risk

How Neurochips Could Link Your Brain to a Computer

How Starlink Could Get Rural Families Online

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