Chinese EV Maker NIO to Develop Smartwatches

NIO, a leading Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, recently released recruitment information for a job posting entitled “Product Manager of Smartwatches,” according to a report by Tech Planet on November 1.

The job description states that the employee will be responsible for coming up with competitive product concepts, ensuring product competitiveness, developing product selling points and providing strategies for marketing and sales. It requires at least three years of experience in planning wearable devices at leading manufacturers.

SEE ALSO: CEO William Li: NIO Plans to Launch a New Smartphone Every Year

NIO has previously entered the smartphone market, triggering extensive discussion. William Li, CEO of NIO, revealed the reasons for the company’s entering the smartphone industry, saying that a smartphone is the most important device for users to connect NIO vehicles. Li said, almost half of NIO car owners use iPhones, while a large number of people use Huawei smartphones. Apple’s ecology and system is now very exclusive to the automobile industry. For example, a car comes standard with ultra wideband (UWB), but if iPhones don’t open access, consumers and car companies will become passive.

In terms of talent, Yi Wei, the former senior vice president of Meitu Mobile, which operates a smartphone business under Chinese photo and video editor Meitu, has joined the NIO smartphone team as the head of its software department. Some media outlets previously reported that “the NIO smartphone team has more than 300 employees, and their background includes OPPO, Meitu, Huawei and other companies.” NIO‘s first smartphone will reportedly be positioned as a high-end flagship product, and will be equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. The starting price may exceed 5,000 yuan ($688), and the price of the highest configuration model may reach 7,000 yuan.

In mid-September of this year, a Chinese blogger broke the news, saying, “Confirmed! NIO will release a smartphone next year, which will be available before the end of next year. The product will be high-end. It was originally available before the end of this year, but the company said that it still has to pursue a better product, so it will wait for next year.”

In today’s smartphone market, in addition to the smartphone manufacturers that are in fierce competition, there are gradually more companies from other industries entering the field. Consumer tech firm Xiaomi has announced its start of vehicle manufacturing, while smartphone maker Meizu was just acquired by a venture of Geely Chairman Eric Li. The management of Chinese traditional carmaker SAIC once said that it is thinking about planning deep integration with smartphone manufacturers.