Tesla is famous for its electric cars, but some interesting rumours are beginning to circulate that the company may be switching its attention to another mobility focussed product – a smartphone.
Here’s all we know so far about the mysterious Tesla Model Pi, including whether there’s really any reason to believe that Tesla is making a phone at all.
Will the Tesla Model Pi be released?
At the moment, as far as we can tell, the Tesla Model Pi remains very much in the realms of speculation. Tesla has made no announcements regarding a move into this area and Elon Musk himself has tweeted that phones are “yesterday’s technology.”
Definitely not. Smartwatches & phones are yesterday’s technology, Neuralinks are the future.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
September 14, 2020
This refers to the development of chips that can be implanted in the brain to then allow devices to be controlled by the electrical impulses created when we think. One of Musk’s companies, Neuralink Corporation, is already heavily involved in developing this technology, but it will probably be a long time before having yourself ‘chipped’ will be a real thing.
How much would the Tesla Model Pi cost?
There is no price point that anyone has discovered as yet, but if you consider the features speculated on below, there’s a good chance that it would be at the very top-end of the table. Tesla doesn’t do cheap, and we can’t see this changing with a smartphone.
What features and specs could we see in the Tesla Model Pi?
Ok. Hold onto your hats. With the Model Pi something of an urban legend at the moment, the rumour mill has gone into quite strange territories when it comes to the kind of features Tesla will introduce with its debut smartphone.
Artist Antonio De Rosa has created some lovely images that show off the potential design choices Tesla could make, although of course this is entirely conceptual and not based on any hard schematic evidence.
Probably the most realistic of all the rumours is that of Tesla incorporating solar panels into the device to allow recharging without the need for an electrical power source. This makes sense, as it would fit with the ecologically minded Tesla brand, while also making use of the solar technology already developed by the company.
Whether solar charging tech is ready to keep a phone topped up all day, especially when the phone itself spends most of its time in your pocket or bag, is another matter entirely of course.
There’s also quite reasonable stories of the Model Pi integrating closely with Tesla cars, allowing greater control over settings and features when on the move.
Moving to the more fanciful, there are plenty of reports that the Model Pi will use the Starlink service provided by Musk’s SpaceX company. This is essentially satellite-based fast broadband that should provide coverage in many areas where 5G fears to tread. There are already satellite phones available, but they tend to be very expensive to use when compared to standard LTE smartphones, so Tesla would have its work cut out bringing the Model Pi to the masses.
Remember the Neuralink technology we mentioned earlier? Well, plenty of reporters are saying that the Model Pi will be compatible with the Brain-Machine-Interface (BMI) chips that would allow users to control their devices by thought. While this sounds incredibly interesting, if trying to get Siri to call the right person or Alexa to select the correct music track is anything to go by, the idea of a mind-control phone could be the stuff of nightmares.
Finally, and the most crackers of all the popular rumours we’ve seen, is that the Starlink technology will allow the Model Pi to work on Mars. Yep. Mars. Frankly, we’d be more impressed if Tesla could fix it so that we got a decent signal in the local coffee shop rather than on Olympus Mons. That would be a real breakthrough.
Tech Advisor contributor Martyn has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews.