TikTok owner ByteDance is planning to develop its own smartphone: Report

ByteDance acquired several patents from a Chinese phone manufacturer Smartisan recently

Owner of the massively popular TikTok video streaming app, ByteDance, is preparing to develop its own smartphone. The news comes after the world’s most valuable startup acquired patents from Smartisan, a phone manufacturer based in China.

TikTok logo.

TikTok logo.

The Financial Times reported that two sources have confirmed the news. After recently launching an instant messenger app called Feiliao, the Chinese startup is already working on a music streaming service. Naturally, with an ever-growing catalog of mobile apps, ByteDance is planning on building a phone that will come pre-loaded with its own apps.

ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming has been the one behind this new project and it started off after his company acquired many patents from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Smartisan. The company went on to recruit some of its staff as well. The Financial Times report states that one of its sources mentioned a phone pre-installed with ByteDance’s own apps had been a long dream of Mr Zhang.

The report also mentions analysts predicting that ByteDance’s phone with its apps pre-installed may not work out in the market. “There’s basically no space for them in the mass market,” said Jia Mo, Shanghai-based analyst at Canalys. A similar approach was taken by Facebook which partnered with HTC and Samsung to launch a phone with pre-installed apps based on the Facebook Home platform. Amazon had also launched the Amazon Fire phone but it didn’t really work out.

For now, it isn’t clear whether ByteDance will be targeting only China for its own smartphone. However, considering the success of Chinese smartphone companies in India, especially Xiaomi, it wouldn’t be a surprise if India is a major market consideration.

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