Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio has launched its own smartphone, the first such device from a high-end Chinese electric car brand. The Android device is priced between $900 and $1,000, making it roughly $150 cheaper than a comparable Huawei phone.
Nio CEO William Li expects at least half of the company’s users to purchase the smartphone, particularly those already using flagship Android phones or iPhones. The device comes with a special button that acts as a key for the user’s Nio vehicle and offers enhanced car connectivity. While resembling a typical smartphone, it allows for a seamless transition between phone and vehicle use, making it more convenient for users. Nio’s goal with the smartphone is to increase its revenue per user and enhance the overall user experience.
The device is available to all consumers in China, not just Nio car owners. Li noted that the Nio smartphone app has 600,000 active daily users, more than the number of Nio car users. The launch comes as Nio has seen an increase in monthly deliveries, with around 20,000 deliveries in August and July. However, the company does not currently plan to release the smartphone in Europe until the market grows larger. Nio is focused on developing local car services in the European countries where it operates.
The company is investing heavily in research and development, spending approximately $500 million on R&D every quarter. It is also investing in battery charging infrastructure and developing a mass-market brand called “Alps,” with plans to release a vehicle under this brand in the second half of next year.
Despite challenges and competition in the Chinese electric car market, Li believes Nio’s business investments will help create barriers to entry and ensure its long-term success.