The co-founder of OnePlus sees his new phone brand as a competitor for Apple, but he has not shown anything so far.
Nothing co-founder and CEO Carl Pei hosted a keynote today (March 23) to tease the company’s first smartphone.
This summer, Nothing’s Phone 1 will run on Nothing OS, a mobile operating system based on Android. It will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile platform.
Today’s product announcement, however, was particularly lacking in product. There was no prototype of the hardware on display, forcing observers to ponder what a cryptic image could mean for the upcoming release.
Looks like a camera module and wireless charging coil pic.twitter.com/llUgkohv5a
— Alex Dobie (@alexdobie) March 23, 2022
“Having raised $144 million, built a team of more than 300 people, and received support from trusted partners such as Qualcomm Technologies, we are poised for Phone 1 to mark the start of change for the sleepy smartphone market,” said Pei. .
“We are also launching another round of $10 million in community investment, giving our supporters the opportunity to be a part of our journey that takes on the industry’s giants,” he added.
Pei made his name as the co-founder of the Chinese electronics brand OnePlus, which he started with Pete Lau in 2013. The company’s first smartphone, the OnePlus One, was something of an underground sensation, hailed by Time as the “phone of dreams.”
But it’s not the OnePlus brand that wants to match Nothing, it’s Apple.
Pei praised the American phone maker, saying: “If you want products that connect seamlessly and work together seamlessly, Apple is the only choice. Once you leave that ecosystem for a Windows PC or an Android phone, it collapses. no alternative to Apple.”
However, nothing intends to provide consumers with an option comparable to the premium iPhone brand. “We’re building the most compelling alternative to Apple,” said Pei.
More details about Phone 1 are expected to trickle in in the coming months as OnePlus has taken a similar approach to generating a buzz among consumers through a viral marketing drip feed.
Pei left OnePlus in 2020 to start his new venture, which he announced in January 2021.
Nothing to see here
In addition to teasing the Nothing Phone 1, today’s event showed mere hints of the OS interface with a series of screenshots.
Nothing OS aims to distill Android down to its best, most essential features, plus custom fonts, colors, graphics and sounds. A first preview of the operating system will be available for download on select smartphone models from April.
Phone 1 is the second release of the device to come out of nowhere, the first being the Ear 1 wireless earphones released last year.
Nothing is backed by GV (formerly Google Ventures) and others, including iPhone co-inventor Tony Fadell, Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, and YouTuber Casey Neistat.
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