NIO's first phone model will be released next year and consumers will be able to get their hands on it by the end of next year, according to a well-known local automotive blogger.
(Image credit: CnEVPost)
NIO's first phone model will be released next year and consumers will be able to get their hands on it before the end of next year, Ouyang Chen, founder of local automotive media Ddxq.tech, said on Weibo today.
NIO's phone, which will go high-end, could have been released by the end of this year, but the team has higher pursuits, so it will be released next year, said Ouyang, who has 1.26 million followers on Weibo, citing unnamed sources.
In the comments section of the Weibo post, a blogger's response implied that if NIO's first phone is released by the end of this year, it would mean the business could adopt an ODM model, while "higher pursuits" would mean an OEM model.
In the cell phone manufacturing industry, contract manufacturers provide services to phone companies in the ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) models.
Under the ODM model, the contract manufacturer provides services including the development and design of the handset, while the client only needs to use its own brand name on the end product.
In the OEM model, the contract manufacturer produces and delivers the product according to the customer's design, for example, Apple has Foxconn produce the iPhones.
Notably, previous information indicates that NIO's entry into the cell phone sector seems unlikely to adopt the ODM model, considering its substantial efforts.
At the end of February this year, local tech media 36kr cited sources familiar with the matter as saying that Yin Shuijun, former president of Chinese beauty app Meitu, had joined NIO and was in charge of its phone business.
NIO's phone business essentially rules out the possibility of having other makers produce them and NIO merely labeling them, Weibo car blogger @肉肉爸爸比ev said at the time, adding that the company would most likely be involved in the manufacturing of the phones.
NIO's phone will have many features that interact with its cars, such as file interchange between the phone and the vehicle, projection of AR/VR resources, and a mobile version of NOMI's virtual voice assistant, the blogger said.
At the end of March, William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of NIO, said during an appearance on a talk show that NIO was still in the research phase of making phones.
NIO's customers want to see a phone that connects better with cars, which prompted the company to look into the industry, Li said at the time.
Even when NIO makes phones, it's not thinking in terms of commercial success, but whether users want an NIO phone and whether it will enhance the car owner's experience, he said in the March interview.
In another small exchange with NIO owners in late July, Li said the company will develop one phone model a year, like Apple.