The electric car manufacturer NIO has been trying to become a premium brand for some time. The arrival of its vehicles in Europe represented a strange subscription model, and of course its commitment to being something like the Xiaomi of electric cars in Europe was promising. At the moment it’s failing miserably, but those responsible have surprised us and are now expanding their bet: If electric cars don’t catch on, nothing will happen: let’s build a smartphone.
A cell phone that is closely linked to its cars. William Li, CEO of the company, introduced the NIO Phone in Shanghai, emphasizing the possibilities that these phones will have when used with cars: According to CNBC, it will have a special button that will act as a key for the car. In fact, you can control multiple cars with a single cell phone or unlock a car when it is turned off. Although designed specifically for car owners, it will be available “to all consumers in China,” Li said.
Promising specifications. This smartphone features a 6.81-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a resolution of 3,088 x 1,440 pixels, a maximum brightness of 1,800 nits and support for an adaptive refresh rate of 1 to 120 Hz. The SoC is the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and has configurations with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of capacity.
It has three cameras with 50 MP sensors (main IMX707, ultra-wide IMX766 and telephoto lens), IMX890 and 2.8x optical zoom. It also integrates a 5,200mAh battery with fast charging of up to 66W wired and 50W wireless. Finally, it has IP68 certification for dust and water resistance.
The NIO Phone wants to compete with the iPhone (and Huawei). William Li stated that this Android-based smartphone will be $150 cheaper than the equivalent Huawei device. This company has just launched its Mate 60 Pro, and NIO seems to be clear that they want to compete with this company and, as Li pointed out in an interview in 2022, with Apple and its iPhones.
Straight into the high area. The NIO Phone will have a starting price of 6,499 yuan (832 euros) for the model with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, but there will be a version with 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage for 7,499 yuan (961 euros). The phones will begin shipping on September 28th.
No plans for Europe. Li noted that NIO has no plans to offer the smartphone in Europe, at least not until the market grows. The manufacturer is already present in five European countries, including Germany, and, according to its CEO, must first focus on developing local services for its cars. However, the company is considering possible measures that will hinder sales of Chinese electric vehicles in the Old Continent.
NIO is not doing very well. As Reuters reported, things are currently not going particularly well with the Chinese company’s balance sheet, which recorded a loss of 6,120 million yuan (784 million euros) in its latest financial results, while in the same quarter last year it lost 2,750 million yuan (352 million euros). ).
But there is wiggle room.. The company still has $4.3 billion in cash after receiving a $1.1 billion investment from CYVN Holdings. After the decline in sales in the first half of the year, there are signs of recovery: in August, vehicle deliveries rose by 81% thanks to the popularity of the improved ES6 SUV. In fact, 94,352 vehicles were sold in the first eight months of the year, 31.9% more than the same period in 2022.