The smartphone world is dominated by two giants for now which are Apple & Samsung. However, according to reports, NIO the Chinese automaker is now planning to launch its own NIO phone.
It might come as a surprise that the intention behind the launch is not to rival the big guns of this segment but to work for its vehicle ecosystem.
The company’s CEO William Li recently announced that customers of NIO vehicles want a smartphone that connects effortlessly with their cars.
He further clarified that NIO is working to develop its own NIO phone models however the reason behind this won’t be to:
- Make money;
- Compete with the well-set phone manufacturing companies.
Rivalry With Apple
The company’s CEO, however, believes that NIO can develop its product and service ecosystem similar in nature to that of Apple. He even considers Apple as the future competitor of NIO.
According to rumours, Apple is also in the process of manufacturing its EV dubbed the Apple Car which if comes into existence will join Apple’s ecosystem.
NIO’s Apprehensions Seem Logical
The recent move from NIO might be because of the automaker’s apprehensions that as soon as Apple launches its car, the Apple fanboys will soon ditch NIO’s EVs for it.
This might seem too much for now however I believe that the company is right in thinking so. After all, Apple iPhones are considered a symbol of wealth and success in China, just like in several other parts of the world.
So, when Apple launches its car, many customers of NIO will be attracted to it. This is why NIO is attempting to develop its NIO phone and an ecosystem to which the customers can stick.
This will aid the company in developing brand loyalty that will aid in customer retention.
Models Currently Being Produced By NIO
Presently NIO is manufacturing the following electric vehicles:
- ET5 (coming in 2023).
What Is NIO Doing For Now?
Presently the Chinese automaker is operating two different business lines which are:
- Manufacturing different EV models;
- Operating a network of battery swapping stations.
Not The First Time That The Domains Of Automotive & Phone Manufacturers Are Being Entwined
This is not the first time that a company is thinking of going down the lane of intertwining the two domains i.e. automotive & phone manufacturing.
Another company known as Faraday Future had similar plans but financial constraints forced it to stick just to EV manufacturing.
Previously, Samsung is the only company in the world that has a record of selling both vehicles and phones simultaneously.
However, Samsung entered the automotive industry in the 1990s and eventually sold it off to Renault.
Trends Are Changing
Sony recently partnered with Honda and Foxconn is also planning to step into the EV manufacturing segment. This is why the idea of NIO manufacturing its smartphone is not too absurd.
Is It Logical?
So, is the idea of an automaker entering another business logical? Well, at first it might not seem too rational and in the past, it definitely wasn’t.
However, as modern-day EVs are complex computers on wheels, the idea now seems plausible.
This is because similar to the OS on smartphones, the EVs also work on a similar principle however much more advanced.
So, a company that is already manufacturing EVs is competent enough to produce smartphones as well, and it must do so if it can.
How successful NIO gets in its current approach is yet to be seen. However, I believe that the company is right in expanding its business line.