Start-up Nothing unveiled plans to release its first smartphone in mid-2022, with CEO and co-founder Carl Pei setting out high goals for his company to become the most attractive alternative to Apple.
The smartphone, currently referred to as a phone (1) (as the name appeared on the Nothing website as well as in the keynote), will be Nothing’s second hardware launch following the release of its earphones called ear (1) and will run on a custom version of Android dubbed as Nothing OS.
Pei, who called the current mobile device ecosystem “mundane” and promised to make his offering unique, set out the company’s aim to enter the crowded smartphone industry during a presentation. Apart from the fact that it will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset and Nothing’s own OS, there was little information about the future device.
Pei said that the company would someday be able to compete with Apple, with intentions to place its device and operating system at the center of a more open environment compatible with other brands.
He did admit, though, that it was entering a highly competitive market. “It’s hard to stand out in the market; plenty have tried and failed,” he said, adding that “market timing is right, resources are right, and people are right” for Nothing.
The company has so far secured $144 million and wants to open a $10 million investment round for its fan base next month. In preparation for its smartphone launch, it has also built up its supply chains and hired 300 people with a wide range of skills, including those from the technology, design, and fashion industries.