TikTok’s company is now looking to make smartphones — a move Facebook and Snap tried and failed

Rumour has it that TikTok publisher, ByteDance, is now looking to launch its own smartphone that might come with ByteDance apps pre-installedBusiness Insider India

  • TikTok’s publisher, ByteDance, is now rumoured to be looking into the hardware business with plans of launching a new smartphone.
  • Sources told the Financial Times that the company’s founder, Zhang Timing, “has long dreamt of a phone with ByteDance apps pre-installed”.
  • Rumoured smartphone launch, plans for a music streaming service and a new VP of monetisation suggest that ByteDance is looking to increase its revenue.
Once a just a Chinese startup, now a full fledged unicorn — ByteDance — the company behind the popular videos sharing mobile app, TikTok, is rumoured to be working on a new smartphone.

The company has made no official statement to address the rumours but the Financial Times reports that ByteDance will using patents and technology from a company is acquired in January, Smartisan.

The source also revealed that the company’s founder, Zhang Timing, “has long dreamt of a phone with ByteDance apps pre-installed.”

The journey is going to be treacherous for ByteDance as it will have to compete against the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi, Apple, Oppo, Huawei and Vivo — at home and away. And, the US market is not looking too kindly towards Chinese manufacturers at the moment.

Facebook tried a similar experiment as well where they sold around 15,000 phones before shutting down the idea entirely. Even Snapchat had a go at trying to manufacture its own mobile phone before scrapping the plan altogether.

The news comes in less than a week after it was unveiled that ByteDance is working on its own music streaming service that its aiming to launch in emerging markets, like India.

The emergence of two new ventures as well as the appointment of a new Vice President of Monetisation at the company seems to indicate that ByteDance is looking to recover from its losses.

Risky business

Amid the rapid expansion of the company and scaling up to meet global demand, ByteDance failed to hit its revenue target from the first time since 2018. Bloomberg cited the dip in ad spend in China as the cause.

Meitu, a photo editing mobile app, started to manufacture its own line of smartphones back in 2008. Its smartphones come preloaded with the company’s entire suite of photo editors.

But, things haven’t been going so well for Meitu with reports of the company planning to shut down operations from mid-2019. The app maker is leaving the smartphone production and sales to Xiaomi for a cut from the profits.

See also:

TikTok, tick tock — time is ticking for Facebook in China and India

TikTok makes a triumphant return to Indian app stores a week after the ban was lifted

Facebook follows in TikTok’s footsteps by bringing music to posts and stories