A consumer technology startup established by OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei called “Nothing” is planning to launch its first smartphone next month, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday. The company’s smartphone has been in development for over a year, and Carl Pei is said to have shown its prototype to executives from companies such as Qualcomm at the Mobile World Congress 2022 (MWC) in Barcelona this week.
Nothing released its first product last year, a wireless headset called the Ear 1. As of late January 2022, its shipment had exceeded 400,000 units. The company’s new smartphone will contain design elements similar to its headphones, such as using transparent components, but further details on the new model are still limited.
Carl Pei has always been clear that he hopes Nothing’s products will expand into more categories. In an interview with The Verge in January last year, Pei said that he planned to eventually provide an ecosystem composed of different devices. In February, 2021, Nothing bought a brand called “Essential,” which was created by Andy Rubin, the “Father of Android.” Essential released an Android smartphone in 2017 and closed less than three years later. Last November, a company executive in India said Nothing had five new products under development.
Recently, Pei seems to have been offering some kind of a preview. On February 15, he tweeted that he was “back on Android,” while both Android and Snapdragon’s brand accounts posted similarly obscure previews in response. Even Nothing’s official account predicted that “March is going to be fun” on February 28.
A few years ago, Pei’s name appeared in the media as “cofounder of OnePlus smartphone” or “OnePlus overseas spokesperson.” After that, he left OnePlus in 2020 and started his own brand, Nothing.