Polestar is making a phone, says EVs are just phones on wheels

Its partner Meizu is developing a new operating system to replace Google Android Automotive that will let you 'seamlessly' use your phone and car together

Polestar, a Swedish manufacturer of electric vehicles (EVs), is branching out into the world of smartphones. At the IAA Mobility auto show in Munich, Germany, CEO Thomas Ingenlath toldCNBC that Polestar’s new “premium” phone will show consumers how its EVs are just phones on wheels.

The phone will launch with the Polestar 4, the company’s first electric SUV. It is being developed through a partnership between Polestar and the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xingji Meizu. Polestar and Meizu are owned by the same parent company, Geely.

Ingenlath told CNBC that this phone is not an attempt to grow Meizu’s market share and put it in competition with major manufacturers like Apple and Oppo (a few of the largest in China). The marketing spin is that the smartphone is designed to promote the car, not the other way around.

However, it’s safe to assume one will lead to the other. We expect you wouldn’t own the Polestar smartphone just for use in the car and another brand’s smartphone for everything else, so the point is to replace your smartphone from another manufacturer. And, as noted by The Verge, Polestar is a premium EV manufacturer, which will allow Meizu to target wealthier consumers. Despite Polestar’s statement to the contrary, it seems to us that this will at least have some boost for Meizu.

Polestar is no stranger to marketing its cars in new and inventive ways with exciting technology. Last year, it announced the O2, a car that will feature a drone built-in to take videos of you driving.

We reported then that the O2 would probably use Google Android Automotive backbone (more commonly called ‘Android Auto’) because that’s what all Polestar EVs have used until now. However, developing its own smartphone will allow Polestar to use infotainment software in its car that is specifically linked to its device.

“Where you have an opportunity to link these two worlds, without any border … then you can really have a seamless transition,” Ingenlath said.

Meizu’s phones don’t run on Android; it has its own operating system called FlyMe. According to CNBC, the company is working on a new operating system for Polestar EVs based on FlyMe. This would presumably allow for that “seamless transition” between the phone and the car.

Ingenlath noted problems with the current ways we connect phones to cars, saying: “I still have problems to get, you know, an SMS displayed.”

At the time of this writing, the Polestar 4 is expected to release in China in late 2023, and in America and Europe during 2024. CNBC reported it would be released in China before the Polestar 3 since that model has been experiencing production delays.

Source: CNBC Via: Android Police