Polestar has found another product to slap its logo on, and it’s not an electric car.
The Swedish-based, Chinese-owned EV maker will launch its own smartphone in December, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath told CNBC at the IAA Mobility auto show in Munich, Germany, this week. The phone will be produced by Xingji Meizu, a smartphone company owned by Polestar’s parent company, Geely.
It doesn’t sound like this will be an attempt to challenge China’s major smartphone makers like Apple and Oppo. Rather, this will become a way to highlight all the ways in which Polestar’s technology-packed cars are basically just computers on wheels, Ingenlath told the network.
It doesn’t sound like this will be an attempt to challenge China’s major smartphone makers like Apple and Oppo
“Where you have an opportunity to link these two worlds, without any border … then you can really have a seamless transition,” he said to CNBC.
A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to questions about the phone’s launch or which countries it will be targeting.
It also has the markings of an attempt by Geely to launch its smartphone subsidiary into a higher market segment than the one it currently occupies. Polestar is a premium EV maker, so there’s an opportunity for Xingji Meizu, which mostly makes midtier phones, to sell its products to a wealthier class of consumers.
There is a question about operating systems. Polestar’s electric cars come with native Android software from Google, while Xingji Meizu’s use an OS called Flyme, which is based on Android. CNBC claims that Polestar will make cars that use Xingji Meizu’s software, which could help make syncing your phone to your car more seamless.
While most automakers steer clear of smartphone manufacturing, preferring instead to stay in their own lane (pun intended) and their own complex supply chains, there have been other examples of EV makers in China dipping their toes in the smartphone market. NIO, for example, has said it intends to release its own phone later this month.
Meanwhile, Polestar has a number of other brand deals, including a partnership with Sweden’s Cake to produce a couple of electric mopeds. The company is also working with Sweden’s Allebike on a Polestar-branded nonelectric mountain bike. And Ingenlath has said he wanted the company’s next e-bikes to be more than just a “marketing stunt.”
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