OnePlus Co-Founder’s New Company to Make a Phone

It will come as a surprise to nobody that OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s new company, Nothing, will make a smartphone this year.

“What if 2021 was just a warm-up?” a cryptic message on the Nothing website notes, almost certainly referring to its 2021 purchase of Essential, the former smartphone company started by Android founder Andy Rubin. There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon logo next to the message. And Nothing says it will hold an online event called “The Truth” on March 23.

Since the Essential acquisition, Nothing has been pretty quiet: the only product it’s released is a pair of earbuds called the ear(1). But having just raised $70 million in a new funding round, it’s got the money it needs to go after the smartphone market.

“The funding will be used to create new product categories in partnership with Qualcomm Technologies and its Snapdragon platform, and grow operations at its new London Design Hub, led by ex-Dyson Head of Design Adam Bates,” Nothing revealed.

Nothing describes itself as “a London-based tech company on a mission to remove barriers between people and technology.” It is “crafting intuitive, flawlessly connected products that improve our lives without getting in the way [with] no confusing tech-speak, no silly product names … beautiful tech shouldn’t be complicated.”

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Conversation 9 comments

  • Chris_Kez

    Premium Member
    09 March, 2022 - 11:37 am

    <p>The whole Nothing corporate exercise seems like a play thing for Carl Pei and friends, just as Essential was a play thing for Andy Rubin and friends. Both of these companies are kind of pointless, but I guess if you’re a notable tech person with a lot of money and/or access to capital, this gives you something fun and exciting to do with your time and money. These efforts will represent millions of dollars and thousands of hours poured down the drain by otherwise smart and talented people. </p>

  • scovious

    09 March, 2022 - 11:59 am

    <p>I hope that Nothing can prove to everyone that phones don’t need to be designed around camera bumps, or even phone cases. Imagine a phone that was perfect the moment you bought it and didn’t rely on cheap, ugly accessories to become realistic to use or to hide it’s atrocious design flaws. Why else call the company "Nothing"?</p>

  • leoaw

    Premium Member
    09 March, 2022 - 1:04 pm

    <p>If the marketing campaign for this phone doesn’t include Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, then it’s a missed opportunity.</p>

  • spacein_vader

    Premium Member
    09 March, 2022 - 2:56 pm

    <p>Essential 2.0. And it’ll end the same way </p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      10 March, 2022 - 2:51 am

      <p>Essentially Nothing</p>

  • locust_infested_orchard_inc.

    09 March, 2022 - 5:35 pm

    <p>This nilch/nada phone will be Nothing like the esteemed OnePlus.</p>

  • peterc

    Premium Member
    10 March, 2022 - 3:12 am

    <p>Carl Pei has a lot of consumer supporters from his Oneplus era, me included. I’m expecting a very decent handset at a decent price compared to competitors. Considering how Oneplus has totally lost the support of its long term users with the whole oxygen/Color OS shambles that’s occurred over the last 6 months there’s a lot of community support just waiting to buy into his forthcoming product which should allow nothing to have a successful product launch. If he sticks to a clean fast android OS experience with easy simple modding access and a decent chip he will pick up where Oneplus walked away from. Let’s see if he aims for the mid tier or a higher end handset. I sold my OP 9 pro in anticipation of this some weeks ago. Let’s see what transpires. </p>

  • John Craig

    10 March, 2022 - 3:50 am

    <p>Yes, just what the world needs, another Android phone. A quick glance over Wikipedia would suggest there are about 55 Android phone manufacturers in the market today, the vast majority pushing out black rectangular slabs in one format or another, with very little by way of unique selling points. </p><p><br></p><p>Why would anyone launch a phone with that kind of competition? </p><p><br></p><p>Seems pointless. </p>

    • peterc

      Premium Member
      10 March, 2022 - 8:18 am

      <p>Well, seeing as there’s only iOS and android available and android isn’t the closed OS it’s not surprising there’s so many android devices. The only two manufacturers who produce near stock android is Nokia and Motorola. The rest are all heavily modified skinned versions and yes Google skin android too whilst most people think pixels are stock android, they’re not really. </p><p><br></p><p>My personal hunch is don’t expect nothing to introduce a handset that’s a copy of what everyone else is doing, especially the high ticket price manufacturers. Given the “cost of living crisis” hitting everyone my personal opinion is we’re more likely to see a solid smart feature packed mid to high tier handset compared to expensive flag ship handsets. Maybe something modular? replaceable battery, sd card .. etc who knows just my hunch. </p>

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