Will Tesla make a smartphone?

Will Tesla make a smartphone? - Lovefone, London

Tesla Motors is a company known for its willingness to take on huge, seemingly impossible projects, and turn them into amazing products, all without compromising the original idea. This is evident in their range of fully electric cars, nationwide charging stations, and home solar batteries. Could they also be a name soon synonymous with smartphones?

Now, I’m not talking about the TESLA Android phone already in existence, which has no relation to the company other than a shared namesake. I’m talking about a smartphone designed and built top-down by Tesla Motors, with the full strength of their expert team and incredible innovation behind it.

Why would a car company make a phone?

It’s not as unlikely a crossover as it may appear. After all, smartphones are becoming increasingly integrated into the way we drive, with Volvo unveiling plans for a new model in which your smartphone acts as your car key, and Tesla Motors themselves adding a feature called Summon, which lets owners control their cars just by using a smartphone app. Summon lets you call your car out to meet you in the morning or have it park itself in the garage when you get home. As the technology advances, Tesla hopes to expand the Summon feature to allow you to control your car from great distances, or even have it meet you on the other side of the country at a predetermined time, charging itself along the way. Collaboration between smartphone manufacturers and car makers is only expanding as the line between the two technologies becomes progressively blurred, changing the way we interact with our mobile devices, our vehicles, and even each other.

So, why would an electric car manufacturer want to make a smartphone? Possibly for the same reasons that a smartphone manufacturer would want to make an electric car. Apple is also seeking to get into the car manufacturing industry. While the company has not publicized their involvement, the project is considered an “open secret” within the industry.

When you think about it, this new partnership between smartphones and cars makes perfect sense. Smart cars represent a burgeoning industry that is heavily reliant on the types of technology that are integrated into almost every smartphone. GPS, wireless connectivity, and app responsiveness are just a few of the things needed for the “brains” of any driverless car. Since both Apple and Tesla have already perfected so much of that technology, it makes sense for them to diversify their product offering and make a whole new potential income stream out of the same basic ingredients.

What unique features could Tesla offer in a smartphone?

It’s easy to assume that smartphones have reached their technological peak. Sure, each new iteration offers a minor improvement on some aspect of the last, but there hasn’t really been any major innovation since we started putting cameras on the front and back. So, what could a newcomer to the industry possibly offer to up the ante?

There is one thing that Tesla has done extraordinarily well (which also happens to be the source of one of the most common complaints we have about our smartphones): battery life. Tesla makes a good battery. A really, really good battery. Their cars run on a single charge all the way from Washington D.C. to New York City, even if you do get caught in a little traffic. Imagine what that kind of battery life could do for your smartphone. Granted, they’d have to shrink it down a bit, but their proprietary technology would have them making massive strides in smartphone battery life in no time.

Outside of this obvious advantage, no one really knows what Tesla might come up with. They’ve always been full of surprises. We may even end up with an all new personal assistant that turns your Tesla car into KITT from Knight Rider. (Tesla, if you’re reading this, take note. It’s what the people want.)

Time for a change of pace?

They may also choose to take on the project as an “easy win.” After a recent disappointment with one of their residential battery projects, they may be looking to take their efforts in a new direction. Perhaps after dropping their project to produce an even larger residential battery bank, they’re looking to downsize a little bit.

In spite of all this, Tesla’s future in smartphones is uncertain. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk is known for his unrelenting innovation and a knack for pushing the envelope, so a simple smartphone project may seem too run-of-the-mill for him. After all, what’s so interesting about smartphones when you’re on your way into space? One thing is for certain: if Tesla does decide to make a smartphone, it will be something worth seeing.

April 18, 2016