After taking over smartphones with their app, TikTok has now announced to make their very own smartphones.
The Chinese company behind TikTok, ByteDance, best known for acquiring the app Musical.ly and merging it into TikTok is looking to launch its own phone, which would come with their own pre-installed apps. With fewer details available, it is suspected that the device will be a budget phone for Chinese users only.
Besides TikTok, ByteDance owns many other popular apps, such as Slack alternative Lark, video-chat app Flipchat and news aggregator Toutiao, but TikTok is definitely its most successful and popular app.
The app has done so well with both Western and Asian audiences that it recently dethroned Uber to become the world’s largest privately backed start-up, with a valuation of $75 billion.
ByteDance is making the move after acquiring patents and employees from device-maker Smartisan. A release date has yet to be confirmed at this point. And, by the sounds of it, the phone from ByteDance will only launch in China, and may not even make it to western markets.
“It’s extremely difficult for any new entrants to break into the smartphone market profitably, particularly at a time when big brands such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei are carpet-bombing consumers with millions of pounds worth of marketing,” Ben Wood, technology analyst at CCS Insight, told BBC News.
China has become a very competitive market for smartphone-makers and there are doubts yet another device will be able to stand out.