At its U.S. launch event in San Francisco today, LeEco announced that some LeEco smart TVs and mobile devices and its streaming video service are becoming available in the U.S.
The lineup includes the 5.5-inch brushed metal $399 Le Pro3 Android phone, which features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and 4,070 mAh battery. There’s also the $249 Le S3 phone with a Snapdragon 652 chip, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. LeEco also showed off a $4,999 85-inch uMax85 smart television, the ExploreVR virtual-reality headset, and an Android-based Super Bike with push-to-talk functionality, traffic and location services, a fingerprint scanner, and a 7,090 mAh battery.
The uMax TV is available with a $1,000 instant rebate when purchased with LeRewards on LeMall.com, while the Le Pro3 and Le S3 have a $100 rebate available. LeEco is offering a free year of premium EcoPass membership with unlimited photo and video storage, 5TB of cloud storage, and an extended warranty with the purchase of the uMax 85 TV. People who buy the Le Pro3 will receive three months of free EcoPass membership.
Some of the new products went up on LeEco’s U.S. website earlier this month ahead of today’s launch event, as Android Police reported.
Based in Beijing, LeEco (pronounced lay-EE-koh) was founded in 2004, originally as a content streaming company, and it went public in 2010. It acquired connected TV company Vizio for $2 billion earlier this year. Now it has a U.S. headquarters in San Jose.
The company has sold smart TVs and mobile devices and offered streaming video services in Asia, but it has also developed an autonomous electric concept car in partnership with Aston Martin and Faraday Future. People will be able to share the LeSee Pro car, said Lei Ding, cofounder and global vice president of the LeEco See Plan.
The LeSee Pro car is onsite for the media to see in person immediately after the press conference, LeEco cofounder and CEO YT Jia said. It was originally supposed to come onstage, but wasn’t because of a delayed flight from London, he said.
Clearly the company feels confident as it enters the American market. While giving an overview of the company during the press conference, LeEco North America’s chief revenue officer, Danny Bowman, suggested that no other company can do what LeEco can — not Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Google, or Tesla, he said. A promotional video took a jab at Samsung when an electronics store representative said, “These phones are blowing up!” The message, of course, was that LeEco will give consumers exactly what people want (without literally blowing up), unlike other companies.
Part of the strategy is vertical integration, including application, content, device, and platform, said Richard Ren, president of LeEco North America. But the ecosystem is open in the sense that other device makers can incorporate LeEco content and services into their products, he said.