Nothing, the company started by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, has reportedly showcased its upcoming smartphone to industry insiders and is aiming for an official launch soon. The company made waves after quickly securing investment so soon after it was established. The only product that has come from the company so far, is a pair of wireless earbuds called the Nothing ear (1).
The earbuds offer perks like active noise cancellation on a $99 budget. All the audio gear is fitted neatly in a transparent headphone casing, and sold in a very scratch-prone see-through charging case. There have been rumblings suggesting that smartphones are the next stop for the company, and even though Pei hasn’t said anything about a phone yet, Nothing acquired the now-defunct Essential brand last year.
Related: Nothing’s Earbuds Require A Sacrifice To Enable A Voice Assistant
To date, Pei has only mentioned that Nothing has products planned across different categories. However, it appears that the company has been actively working on a phone and that it could arrive within the next few weeks. According to TechCrunch, Nothing recently showcased a prototype of its first smartphone to industry executives at MWC 2022. The report adds that the company has been working on the device for more than a year and that Nothing plans to launch the device as early as next month. A recent Tweet from the official Nothing handle suggests that an announcement might actually happen in March.
March is going to be fun.
— Nothing (@nothing) February 28, 2022
After Earbuds, Transparent Design Arrives On Phones
The report adds that Pei also had a meeting with “Qualcomm’s chief executive” at this year’s MWC event. It is worth noting here that, so far, Nothing hasn’t made any announcements from the trade show. Enrico Salvatori, an SVP at Qualcomm, tweeted a photo with Pei from what looks like Qualcomm’s booth at the trade show in Barcelona, while hinting at a brewing partnership. Although details on a Nothing-branded phone are slim at the moment, there’s some chatter about its design language. Citing a source with direct knowledge of the latest developments, TechCrunch says Nothing’s smartphone will flaunt “elements of transparency” that are similar to the company’s earbuds.
Good to see my friend @getpeid at #MWC22. Looking forward to working together. @nothing pic.twitter.com/50U5FfY3LO
— Enrico Salvatori (@E_Salvatori) March 1, 2022
Of course, Nothing won’t be the first brand to launch a transparent phone. The LG GD900, touted to be the world’s first transparent design phone, had a see-through keypad and arrived all the way back in 2009. Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi also played with a similar design with the Explorer Edition of its Mi 8 flagship in 2018. The aesthetic formula made its way to the Mi 9 a year later, and again appeared on the Mi 10 Ultra the following year. HTC also tested a transparent design with the U12 Plus in 2018, while China’s Nubia (Red Magic) is currently serving up a feature-rich gaming smartphone with a transparent rear panel. While the idea might not be original, the expectations are still high. If nothing can replicate the formula it applied to its noise-canceling ear (1) earbuds on a solid smartphone that doesn’t cost a fortune, there’s reason to get excited.