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Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio can make phones — for the ecosystem, not to rival Apple or Samsung

Chinese EV company Nio is considering a line of smartphones to meet demand from tech-savvy customers, CEO William Li said in an interview with the news service based in Beijing. based in China Sina Friday publication.

Customers want a phone that better connects to Nio’s vehicles, Li said. He points out that a Nio phone wouldn’t make money or compete directly with traditional phone makers, but rather offer something that’s an extension of car functionality.

“Making a phone is easy, but making a good phone is a challenge,” Li said, according to a translation of But he sees Nio developing an ecosystem of products and services similar to Apple, which he sees as a future competitor, according to the article.

2022 Nio ET7

2022 Nio ET7

Nio sells a line of electric vehicles in its country and operates a network of battery replacement stations. An expansion to Europe is also underway, although the company appears to have abandoned plans to sell cars in the United States.

The prospect of a Nio phone turns the “smartphone on wheels” stereotype for electric vehicles in an entirely different direction.

Faraday Future, the company tied to China’s LeEco, has a similar vision, with the phone fitting into an ecosystem that’s tied to cars — including LeSee cars and Faraday Future models. LeEco’s Financial Troubles forced Faraday Future to reduce the scale of the plan and focus only on putting the car into production.

Nio ES8

Nio ES8

And of course Apple Car has been rumored for a long time can provide an extension of what we are already familiar with in watches, tablets and laptops.

However, one example so far of a company that makes cars and smartphones at the same time doesn’t deliver particularly futuristic vehicles. Samsung started its own car division in the 1990s, eventually selling it to Renault, which sold versions of its own models with the Renault-Samsung badge.

However, more recently, Sony entered the electric vehicle business with Hondaand iPhone contract manufacturers Foxconn plans to start building electric vehicles also. So perhaps an automaker entering the smartphone business isn’t such a far-fetched idea.

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