Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - The company behind TikTok - one of the most popular apps of the moment - is planning to launch its own smartphone. Showing that companies don't always learn from each others' mistakes. 

ByteDance - according to the Financial Times' sources - has long wanted to build its own smartphone, leveraging patents and employees it took on following an acquisition of Smartisan, a little-known Chinese smartphone manufacturer. 

If the phone goes ahead - which it seems it might - it would be preloaded with ByteDance's own apps. 

Of course, ByteDance wouldn't be the first services company to try and launch its own phone. The most similar comparison would be Facebook

Apple Watch Series 7 reviewed, Sonos interview, and more - Pocket-lint Podcast 125

Like TikTok, Facebook is a very popular social media platform, and on a couple of occasions tried to get in on the smartphone game. 

There was the HTC Cha Cha, with its own dedicated Facebook button, and then the HTC First (informally referred to as the Facebook phone). Both tanked, primarily because there was no real advantage to owning one. 

Then of course there was the ill-fated Fire Phone from Amazon. In classic Amazon style, too much focus was placed on making it a storefront for its money-making services, ultimately making it an expensive device, with a poor software experience. 

With ByteDance, even with its other apps and services - in addition to TikTok - it's very difficult to see how it might succeed where Amazon and Facebook failed. 

People can already download and use TikTok on any phone, as well as any of its other apps. Our initial impression is that it can't succeed unless ByteDance makes it a truly compelling device to own. 

On the flip side, it is rumoured that the so-called TikTok phone will be aimed at the more affordable end of the market, where both the Fire Phone and HTC First were more high-mid/premium devices. 

This could ultimately be the one way it does manage to sell a decent number of devices: by being affordable, and being a hip, trendy brand. 

By the sounds of it, the phone from ByteDance might only launch in China, and may not even make it to western markets. We'll keep you updated as the story develops. 

Writing by Cam Bunton. Originally published on 28 May 2019.