After the successful launch of Nothing’s Wireless Ear (1) buds, Carl Pei is about to step back into the spotlight with a new smartphone.
Pei made his name as a co-founder of OnePlus, but left the Chinese company in 2020 to start his own tech venture, Nothing. Shortly after, the brand released its first product, a pair of wireless earbuds.
Since then, the company has been working behind the scenes on its own smartphone, but we don’t know much about the device yet. Ideally, it will follow the same design ethos as the Ear (1) earbuds and feature transparent elements. It’s also been reported that Pei has a demo unit of the phone and has been showing it off behind closed doors at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
We haven’t had a real competitor break into the phone market beyond the ill-fated Essential phone from 2017. Nothing even bought what was left of the Essential in January of 2021. Hopefully, Pei’s Nothing brand can bring enough innovation or value to the table to make users interested in the new phone.
When the company released the Nothing Ear (1)s, itkept the hype and exclusivity of the product high by only rolling it out to select content creators and selling them in waves. This strategy worked, but it’s a lot easier to convince people to impulse-buy a sub $150 pair of cool-looking earphones compared to a phone that I assume will range from $600 to $1,000 in Canada.
That said, OnePlus has recently fallen from grace in North America and LG and HTC both no longer make phones, so perhaps there is room for a new upstart brand to slide in and capture a segment of the market that’s sick of Samsung, Apple and Google.