Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio introduced its first smartphone at a Shanghai event, reportedly targeting its base of car owners in China with a flagship model, continuing the company’s shift beyond the automotive sector.
CEO William Li told CNBC it aims for at least half its car customers to purchase the device, noting the Nio car app has 600,000 active users, about 1.5 times the number of Nio car owners.
The device sports a 6.8-inch OLED curved screen and a Snapdragon 8 Gen2 processor, and is 8.9mm thick and weighs 212g.
The company noted the handset can directly access 30 functions related to car control with one click, and features a button that functions as a car key.
The price starts at CNY6,499 ($892) for a 16GB version. The handset is available in seven colours.
The company received approval for the device in June from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, after setting up Nio Mobile in August 2022.
Nio claims it’s much more than a carmaker, offering battery swap services, shared work spaces in 125 locations as well as a range of lifestyle products.
The company is entering a crowded market, with demand near a ten-year low.
Local automaker Geely Group last year acquired a majority stake in Chinese smartphone brand Meizu, which detailed plans in June to integrate consumer electronics technologies into the automotive sector. An Android-based smart cockpit OS and infotainment system for cars is based on Meizu’s software architecture.