To set itself apart from the competition, OnePlus focused its efforts on making flagship killers; smartphones that offered as much functionality and performance as devices from Samsung and Google, but at half the price. The strategy worked, and OnePlus became a well-respected brand amongst Android users and merged with Oppo earlier this year to help continue its growth.
With his new firm, Nothing, Carl Pei hopes to replicate the success of OnePlus, the smartphone company he launched in 2013. The company today verified speculations that it was creating and manufacturing its first smartphone, the “phone (1),” which is expected to appear this summer. With nearly 3 billion Android-based devices in use today, the world doesn’t necessarily need another Android-based smartphone firm, but that thought was also true when Carl Pei and Pete Lau established OnePlus in 2013.
Ever since Nothing’s existence was revealed it was assumed the new company would eventually be making smartphones. Rumors heated up earlier this month during Mobile World Congress 2022 when Pei was spotted showing off a prototype device to Qualcomm executives, but today brings the first official confirmation that a Nothing smartphone is en route. Nothing promises a smartphone that’s “designed to deliver a fast, smooth and personal experience” and one that will “effortlessly connect and integrate Nothing products and products from other world-leading brands.” It’s an approach that has certainly benefitted Apple whose AirPods line of wireless headphones offer easy connectivity to its various devices, and it sounds like the phone (1) will be far from the last product that Nothing has planned.
But in 2020, Pei left OnePlus and revealed he was starting a new company from scratch called Nothing that would attempt to do the same thing as OnePlus had: shake up the smartphone and consumer electronics industry through a new approach to design thanks to a partnership with the Swedish company, Teenage Engineering. Nothing’s first device, the ear (1) wireless earbuds, was teased a little over a year ago and eventually arrived in the Summer of 2021 with an affordable $99 price tag and features and performance that rivaled pricier alternatives from Apple, Samsung, and Google.