Chinese automotive firm NIO established NIO Mobile Technology Co., Ltd. on August 4, formally bringing the company into the competitive smartphone field. On September 14, a Weibo blogger claimed that NIO‘s smartphone could have been released before the end of this year, but that its launch has been postponed until next year as company founder William Li pursues a high-end route for the new business.
At present, it can only be confirmed that the new smartphone will be released next year, and that consumers will definitely be able to buy it before the end of next year, although the specific date was not disclosed by the blogger.
At the end of February this year, some domestic media outlets said that NIO had initially set up a smartphone business department and was preparing to enter the growing market. In a March 31 video interview, William Li revealed that NIO had plans to produce smartphones, and it was still in the investigation stage. An auto media outlet said in early August that Yi Wei, the former senior vice president of Meitu Mobile, had joined NIO‘s smartphone team as the head of its software department.
According to the report, a source said that NIO‘s smartphone team has more than 300 employees from OPPO, Meitu and Huawei, among other major firms. According to recruitment websites, NIO is seeking to hire a large number of people related to smartphones, including Android engineers and smart watch product managers.
William Li also revealed in July that NIO would launch one smartphone every year – like Apple, but cheaper. NIO‘s first mobile phone will adopt a straight screen design, optimized for the firm’s electric vehicles and with the same color scheme. At the same time, Li said that it is expected to go on sale in another year, and that the purchase method will be more distinctive.