Monday, July 29, 2019

TikTok owner ByteDance confirms plans to produce a smartphone

TikTok owner ByteDance has confirmed previous reports that it plans to produce a smartphone after making a deal with Smartisan earlier this year in which it acquired a number of its patents and employees. In comments given to Reuters, a spokesperson from the company described the phone as “a continuation of earlier Smartisan plans, aiming to satisfy the needs of the old Smartisan user base.”
It’s not exactly surprising that ByteDance is considering entering another product category, especially since it has already expanded into messaging and is reportedly thinking about launching a music streaming service. Previous reports suggested that both of these apps would come preinstalled on ByteDance’s phone alongside TikTok, the app behind the company’s explosive growth.
Previous attempts by mainly service-based companies to move into hardware haven’t gone especially well. Facebook never made a follow-up to the phone it produced in collaboration with HTC, and the less that’s said about the Amazon Fire Phone, the better. There’s also the continued question about the role of Chinese companies in producing smartphones for a global audience, as well as the difficulties experienced by TikTok in its international expansion. Still, ByteDance’s seemingly overnight international success with TikTok means we wouldn’t put it past the company to find a way to make its phone work.

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