Polestar to introduce ‘mobile phones on wheels’
Swedish electric vehicle manufacturer Polestar is releasing its first-ever smartphone, coinciding with the rollout of its electric SUV, the Polestar 4, in China this December.
Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath envisions the upcoming smartphone as a “premium” device meant to seamlessly integrate with Polestar’s high-end EVs.
In order to make this venture possible, Polestar has partnered with Chinese tech giant Xingji Meizu Group. Meizu is currently working on an OS for Polestar based on its FlyMe platform.
By developing its own operating system, Polestar has the flexibility to customise the smartphone and integrate it seamlessly with its vehicles.
Meizu, once a popular player in China’s smartphone market and seen as a potential rival to Android, lost ground to bigger players like Xiaomi and Apple. Back in June, Polestar joined forces with Meizu to advance its in-vehicle operating system tailored for the Chinese market.
“It’s not just good enough to bring a great European design to China, you have to be very, very special about what you offer to the market when it comes to software,” said Ingenlath.
Geely, the parent company of Polestar, solidified its digital platform solutions expansion with the acquisition of a nearly 80 percent stake in Meizu last year.
Chairman of Xingji Meizu, Ziyu Shen, expressed confidence that “Polestar will take the lead in the field of smart mobility” with the tech company’s help.
Neil Shah, vice president of research at Counterpoint Research, believes that Polestar’s foray into the smartphone market will enable the company to bundle software, apps, services and features, akin to the Apple ecosystem.
Upcoming Polestar electric vehicles
Regarding the Polestar 4, Ingenlath shared that Polestar was about to initiate the production of the vehicle, with deliveries expected to start by year-end.
He positioned the Polestar 4 as “more premium and luxurious” than Tesla’s Model Y. The electric SUV will have a starting price of approximately $60,000 and is poised to compete with rivals like the Porsche Macan.
Meanwhile, Polestar’s first electric SUV in the United States, the Polestar 3, is set to start production in the first quarter of 2024. It will be available in two versions — long-range dual motor and performance — with the base model starting at $82,900 for an expected range of up to 300 miles.
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