Nio Races Past Tesla With $900 Smartphone Launch To Turbocharge EV Rivalry

Zinger Key Points
  • Nio phone is seen as a strategy to allure customers with better connectivity and services amid intensifying domestic EV rivalry.
  • Elon Musk in late 2022 hinted at launch of a Tesla phone, although not much is known of the plan since then.

Nio, Inc. NIO has entered the smartphone arena to set itself apart from competitors in China’s fiercely competitive electric vehicle market.

What Happened: Nio’s CEO, William Li, introduced the Nio Phone in Shanghai, China’s commercial hub, unveiling its unique features, such as the ability to control multiple cars with a single device and unlock a car even when switched off, according to a Reuters report.

Specifications: According to CnEVPost, the Nio Phone has:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 system-on-chip with 16 GB RAM and 1 TB storage
  •  Sky user interface, an Android-based mobile operating system,
  •  An action button that allows users to activate over 30 functions related to vehicle control
  •  Samsung’s 6.81-inch curved screen with 2K resolution, supporting a 1-120 Hz refresh rate
  •  5,200 mAh battery, supporting 66 W wired fast charging, 50 W wireless fast charging, and 10 W reverse charging

See Also: How To Buy Nio (NIO) Stock

Pricing: The Nio phone is priced at 6,499 yuan ($890) for the base model, with a higher-tier version featuring 16 GB RAM and 1 TB storage available for 7,499 yuan ($1,027).

Why It’s Important: Nio’s smartphone aims to entice customers with enhanced connectivity and services. 

Incidentally, in the aftermath of Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk‘s acquisition of Twitter, now renamed X, reports suggested Apple will likely yank the then-Twitter app off its App Store. In those early days, Apple also slowed advertisements on Twitter in a wait-and-watch mode which direction the social-media platform will take in a post-Musk era.

In response, Musk threatened to create an alternative smartphone if Apple and Google removed Twitter from their app stores. However, no updates have been provided on a “Tesla smartphone” despite a flurry of online chatter.

Financial Implications: The launch of the Nio phone could strain the company’s finances. Nio is still operating at a loss and facing shrinking gross margins due to the fierce competition in China’s EV market. 

Earlier this week, the company announced a $1 billion senior convertible note offering, leading to a more than 17% drop in its stock price on Tuesday.

Nio’s stock closed up 3.16% at $8.82 on Wednesday, according to Benzinga Pro data. In mid-session on Thursday in Hong Kong, the stock was trading flat with a slight negative bias.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read Next: Nio Stock Dips After Q2 Results Trail Estimates, EV Maker Eyes Q3 Rebound In Deliveries And Sales

Photo courtesy: Nio

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