Carl Pei’s New Company Has Purchased Essential for Some Reason

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei recently started a new firm called Nothing. And Nothing has acquired the rotting husk of Essential for reasons that are unclear.

This is according to a report in 9to5Google, which discovered legal filings with the UK Intellectual Property Office showing that “former Android founder Andy Rubin has signed over ownership of his one-time smartphone entrant Essential to Carl Pei’s Nothing Technologies Limited.” The acquisition was completed on January 6, 2021, after having been filed last November.

And … huh?

Essential, as you may recall, marketed an innovative Android handset, the PH-1, back in 2017, but it was a high-profile failure and the firm never released a second model. In 2018, Essential laid off 30 percent of its workforce, and it announced plans to forge ahead with smart home products. But in February 2020, Essential ceased operations and shut down the company.

Nothing’s acquisition of Essential occurred before Carl Pei even announced that the company existed, which is kind of interesting. But it’s not clear what his plans are. Nothing is, of course, a terrible name for a company. Perhaps he just intends to move forward with the Essential brand instead. That brand is pretty much the former company’s only remaining asset.

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Conversation 22 comments

  • cavalier_eternal

    15 February, 2021 - 3:32 pm

    <p>Nothing Essential ….. That is a tough marketing sell. </p>

    • jdmp10

      15 February, 2021 - 3:34 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#613395">In reply to cavalier_eternal:</a></em></blockquote><p>Only hope they have is that the product speaks for itself and branding is Essentially Nothing, was the case with Essential phone, no branding of any kind on the phone.</p>

  • rmlounsbury

    Premium Member
    15 February, 2021 - 5:19 pm

    <p>I have a feeling we are going to see some wild stuff from the Nothing/Essential brand over the next couple years. I mean, it has to be wild otherwise there is no reason for this mashup to exist. </p>

  • Stokkolm

    Premium Member
    15 February, 2021 - 6:20 pm

    <p>What's Essential? Nothing. What's Nothing? Essential. Sounds fun.</p>

  • ponsaelius

    15 February, 2021 - 6:27 pm

    <p>Essentially nothing.</p>

  • Alex Taylor

    15 February, 2021 - 6:27 pm

    <p>If all they got was the build toolchain that enabled Essential to do updates the same day as Google, I'd be very interested! </p>

  • c.turk

    Premium Member
    15 February, 2021 - 6:35 pm

    <p>I agree, Nothing is a horrible name for a company. <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">But I applaud them for getting my mind to think about something so trivial as a company name. It brought some levity to my day thinking of these lines and laughing to myself while typing. </span></p><p><br></p><p>If Essential has been acquired by Nothing, can it have been acquired at all?</p><p>When Nothing releases a product, do they have to change there name to Something, since where there was Nothing, now is Something.</p><p>Or is there first product going to be called Something, so they can say "We present to you Something from Nothing."</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      16 February, 2021 - 5:10 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#613424">In reply to c.turk:</a></em></blockquote><p>Essentially Nothing.</p>

      • anoldamigauser

        Premium Member
        16 February, 2021 - 8:57 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#613445">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>Ninja'ed.</p><p>Great minds always think alike…and fools seldom differ.</p>

  • basic sandbox

    15 February, 2021 - 6:46 pm

    <p>I bought 2 PH-1s years ago. Attractive materials. The screens were not great, the camera was substandard, and both phones eventually broke. The implementation didn't match the dream.</p>

  • dcdevito

    15 February, 2021 - 7:22 pm

    <p>Everyone wants to be Apple apparently. </p>

  • will

    Premium Member
    15 February, 2021 - 10:09 pm

    <p>I think they are trying to be "cool and hip" with the Nothing name taking after the Boring Company.</p>

  • jchampeau

    Premium Member
    15 February, 2021 - 10:12 pm

    <p>Yet another thing that happened on Jan. 6, 2021 that makes little sense.</p>

  • spacecamel

    Premium Member
    16 February, 2021 - 1:30 am

    <p>Have all of the good company names been taken? "Nothing" is not a good name. </p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      16 February, 2021 - 5:09 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#613438">In reply to spacecamel:</a></em></blockquote><p>"I am selling you Nothing. It only costs $899."</p><p>"For nothing?"</p><p>"Yes, it is very high quality nothing, worth every penny!"</p><p><em>walks away shaking head, muttering "King's new clothes"</em></p>

  • codymesh

    16 February, 2021 - 5:42 am

    <p>anyone trying to do a smartphone startup today is delusional.</p>

  • oldjogger43

    16 February, 2021 - 6:16 am

    <p>Bought 2 essential phones the summer they came out. I am still using mine and it works fine for my</p><p>basic needs. My wife dropped hers otherwise she would still be using it.</p>

  • beckoningeagle

    Premium Member
    16 February, 2021 - 7:12 am

    <p>I guess Fräulein Maria and Cpt. Von Trapp have to rehearse a new declaration of love song now. No matter how good they were in their youth, or childhood.</p><p><br></p>

  • StagyarZilDoggo

    Premium Member
    16 February, 2021 - 8:21 am

    <p> Maybe they want to copyright the notch, and sue every company that made a phone with one. ;-)</p>

  • srrlx1986

    Premium Member
    16 February, 2021 - 9:08 am

    <p><span style="color: rgb(41, 44, 46);">“nothing” will get you nothing- King Lear.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(41, 44, 46);">Ok so that's the extent of knowledge from my Associates Degree in Theatre</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(41, 44, 46);">Nothing probably just wanted some patents. </span></p>

  • JH_Radio

    Premium Member
    16 February, 2021 - 2:25 pm

    <p>when they release the product called Something, they can market it with the slogan "W<span style="background-color: rgb(245, 245, 245); color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">here there was Nothing, now is Something." Perfect! </span></p>

  • rmaclean

    17 February, 2021 - 2:29 pm

    <p>The Zen way will help you realise that nothing is essential ?</p>

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