TikTok, the popular karaoke app, may get its own Android smartphone. Developer ByteDance is in talks with potential manufacturers.
‘TikTok smartphone in the making’
The company behind TikTok has advanced plans for its own device, reports the Financial Times. According to the business newspaper, ByteDance, the Chinese team behind the music app, is in conversation with manufacturer Smartisan. ByteDance is said to have acquired patents for building its own smartphone and has also hired a number of Smartisan employees. When this possible TikTok smartphone is officially revealed, is still unknown.
Zhang Yiming, the CEO of ByteDance, admitted earlier that he has the ambition to release his own smartphone. The device is probably built around TikTok but is also equipped with a few other apps from the same developers. ByteDance also has its own music service under development, an alternative to Spotify. In China, ByteDance also offers Jinri Toutiao, a news service.
TikTok is one of the most popular Android apps of the moment. In TikTok you can make a video of yourself while singing along with famous songs or your own audio clips. Users of the app do not have to worry that it will be available exclusively on the new smartphone. According to the Financial Times, this will also remain in the Play Store.
Facebook and Amazon preceded TikTok
It would not have been the first smartphone built around apps from a popular developer. A few years ago HTC introduced some devices that were developed in collaboration with Facebook. The HTC First even ran on a modified version of Android with a central place for apps such as Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. Amazon also introduced its own smartphone full of self-developed apps, the Fire Phone.
Both devices soon disappeared from the market due to disappointing sales. The question is whether the TikTok device will become successful. The Financial Times notes that ByteDance must convince not only consumers but also the US government. The recent blockade of Huawei suggests that the US government may not be open to new Chinese brands.