After vaguely speculating that Nothing will someday, perhaps when the time comes, release a phone in the US, Nothing CEO Carl Pei has finally confirmed more details about the plans. Nothing really launches Nothing Phone (2) later this year in the US.
In an interview with BackPei spoke more about his company’s US plans, calling the Phone (2) a “premium” offering coming in 2023. a company that did not want to spend money to enter this market, that the launch of headphones for the first time helped them gauge interest, and that the US carrier system abnormal. Okay, he didn’t call it that, but you can tell he’d like to yell about how annoying US carriers and their certification systems are. Of course, I would be in his place.
Apart from the fact that the phone (2) is “premium”, Pei didn’t mention anything else. He still thinks that Nothing can offer an interesting alternative to Samsung and Apple, because his company is young, mobile and able to try something new, and these two old heads need to play it safe. He’s probably not wrong about this idea, but I’m wondering if fancy lights and an overly simple OS really have that much reach. There’s really nothing special about the phone other than a decent price and years-old parts.
I think one area that Pei is right about is software and in-house development. He’s not shy about admitting that Nothing had such a small staff with Phone(1) that they had to outsource much of their software. The company has now hired enough employees (growing from 200 to 400 people in total, 100 of them on mobile) to fully develop Android 13 and will likely do the same for their next phone. These are big steps that should lead to an improvement in the overall interaction between hardware and software.
In another piece of news, Pei suggested that their first UK retail store is already so successful that they want to open more physical stores around the world. It seems like a strange time to expand physical retail, but hey, give it a try. I am for someone to succeed where others have failed.
As a reminder, phone (2) will arrive in the US this year and it will be a more premium device than phone (1). Hoping for the best.