FACT CHECK: Did Elon Musk Launch Tesla Smarphone That Can be Linked to Starlink?

In reality, the video was created with computer-generated imagery by a designer who imagines new gadgets.

  • Updated

A new video has been doing the rounds on social media that claims it to be a concept smartphone launched by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. However, the claim is completely false as there is no such evidence of Musk releasing any smartphone in recent times. Moreover, there has also been no official word from Tesla on any smarphone released by the company.

However, the video, posted on Weibo, has since generated a lot of curiosity. Many have also started believing it to be a new smartphone in reality while several others are confused about the authenticity of the viral claim.

The Claim

Tesla Phone Weibo
The fake post on Weibo Weibo

The video of the smartphone was first published on November 14 on Weibo. Alongside the concept video, there is also a post in Chinese that reads: "Tesla mobile phone" that claims the smartphone was launched by Musk. The posts translates into something like this:

"A few days ago, Musk unexpectedly released a smartphone concept video," claiming that the concept smartphone will soon become reality. "Once the Tesla mobile phone is mass-produced, the three major communications companies will be eliminated," the post adds.

Moreover, it makes other weird claims like the Tesla phone can be directly connected with Starlink and has a "brain-computer" interface. It also claims that the phone supports solar charging, and can take control of vehicles remotely.

The fake video and the original video
The fake video (left) posted on TikTok and the original video TikTok/Instagram

Starlink is a SpaceX-operated satellite internet constellation that provides satellite Internet access to the majority of the Earth's surface. The video shows a hand playing with a flip phone. The video looks quite strange although it is of high quality. The phone is seen on a YouTube video when Musk makes a call on it and the video then ends hinting that it is a Tesla product and is in the development stage.

The video ends with yet another message in Chinese that reads: "I got to go now, Musk is calling to say hurry up".

Although vague, the video has left many confused and enquiring when the phone will be launched given that many have already started believing in it.

Baseless Claims

Fact is that the claim is completely baseless and false with no evidence of Musk launching any Tesla smartphone in recent times. Also, there has been no statement from Tesla. If such an advanced phone would have been even in the development stage, both Musk and Tesla would have announced it much earlier.

In reality, the video was created with computer-generated imagery by a designer who imagines new gadgets.

The video kept on being shared on Facebook and Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, with the similar claim, making more people fall prey to the fake news. In fact the video is still available on Instagram and many are believing in it.

Text in the Instagram post and beside the TikTok video reads: "Tesla Model "Φ" Phi" followed by hashtags including #tesla and #concept. The Instagram handle where the video is posted is of a designer with the handle @imkashama.

The person is a concept video designer and designs concept smartphones besides other gadgets and posts them to his account. There are at least 20 such concept videos of unreleased tech products have been published on the imkashama Instagram account, for example, a rendering of an "Apple iCar" phone that can control a car remotely here.

One of the concept videos -- which imagines what a handheld Xbox console might look like -- was reported on here by technology magazine Ubergizmo under the headline: "Xbox handheld concept goes viral on TikTok."

So this video cannot be called a fake video but someone definitely used this opportunity to use the concept video to mislead people and spread misinformation. The news thus is completely false.

The original account of the concept video creator where the video was posted Instagram
Related topics : Fake news Elon musk