NIO Wants to Make its Own Smartphone Like Apple

China-based automaker NIO is moving from building vehicles to also building phones, as detailed by the company’s founder in a recent statement.

NIO is moving forward with its plans to build and develop phones, and it says it will release one phone edition each year, not unlike how Apple currently does it, according to a post on Weibo reported by CnEVPost.

Founder of NIO William Li says the company, traditionally an electric vehicle (EV) startup, simply wants to create a phone that works well for its users.

The news was shared via a Weibo exchange in a live stream with users in China’s Fuzhou, Fujian area, though a replay of the live stream isn’t currently available.

Li also added that, while building phones isn’t difficult, it is challenging to build phones that work seamlessly and work well.

Reports as far back as February held that NIO was looking to build a phone, saying that former President of Chinese beauty app Meitu, Yin Shuijun, was set to be in charge of the project.

Despite being a newer automaker too, NIO hit 10 million all-time battery swaps earlier this month

Last month, NIO’s CEO said it planned to develop mass-market Tesla rivals for more affordable prices, starting as soon as 2025.