It is relatively common for smartphone makers to enter the electric Vehicle (EV) space. Foxconn and Baidu are already involved in EV manufacturing. Xiaomi, last year, announced a new subsidiary to foray in the EV market and Apple has been said to be working on Apple Car for a long time. Now, in a reverse trend, EV-maker NIO has announced that it is planning to enter the smartphone market with its own smartphone soon.
The company has also named Apple as its biggest rival. “Think about it, if by 2025 an Apple model is released and 60 percent or more of NIO’s users use Apple phones, NIO has no defense at all. If NIO doesn’t do something today to prepare, it’s not going to be fun at that point,” NIO CEO William Li said on a talk show.
NIO, the EV company that was launched in China in 2014, wants to form its own ecosystem much-like Apple. The only difference is that Apple started with PCs before introducing smartphones and now it is reportedly planning to get into the EV space. NIO, on the other hand, started with EVs and now it wants to get into the smartphone space to provide a holistic ecosystem to its customers.
NIO’s CEO said that its latest EV platform is already equipped with ultra-wide band (UWB) technology, something that Apple is using in its iPhones now. However, the company does not offer an open interface. This makes it difficult for the EV-maker, whose 60 percent customers are iPhone users, to introduce features specially designed for iPhone users.
The present scenario leaves NIO’s research and development team to study the details of smartphones, wearables and car-centric devices such as smart displays to ensure a seamless connectivity between its EVs and other devices. So with a smartphone of its own, the company is not only planning to offer seamless connectivity and more functionality to its existing users but also thwart a potential competition from Apple in the future.
As far as the timeline of launch is concerned, NIO CEO admitted that its plans of introducing its own smartphone remain in an exploratory phase at the moment.
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