Nothing Phone 1 Teaser

Can Carl Pei make lightning strike twice with Nothing Phone 1? – Android Authority

None Phone 1 Teaser

The original OnePlus was a turning point in the history of smartphones. By reducing the smartphone to its core – performance and value – the company gained its fame as the manufacturer of the first affordable flagship. More importantly, it is precisely the non-trivial task of creating a community of hardened fans willing to place a bet on an unknown company and part with the cold, solid money that the brand has set aside. And it mostly came down to one person – Carl Pei. And now he’s back to that again with Nothing Phone 1.

Related: Nothing reminds us that smartphone design innovation is not dead

I have often joked that Carl Pei will be the bar head of some of the best creative agencies in the world. The man is a master of hype, and the casually reserved OnePlus “OG” has an incredible ability to create mysteries through blur. How Pei, along with the original OnePlus team, succeeded in entering information, all while creating a rare sense of privilege of being selected to purchase products through a call system, could very well be a case study in a marketing course.

But there is a difference between starting a brand that had the support of a multi-billion dollar giant like Oppa and starting a startup. Nothing can afford to lose everything.

Unfettered innovation

None Phone 1 illuminated live image

To be fair to Pei, he is no longer bound by the ambitions or limitations of managing the Oppo subbrand. It has long been astonishingly obvious that Oppo was half envious of OnePlus’s thought-sharing outside of China. Despite hard work on creating a superior image and a much wider portfolio, Oppo has never been able to achieve this. And so we watched the gradual “opposition” of OnePlus until it reached a point where the company was practically ready to waste all the goodwill it had earned with OnePlus. Even after succeeding, Pei failed and eventually left the brand he helped build.

See also: On the road to success, BBK and Oppo leave OnePlus behind

S Nothing, he has a clean slate and no giant looming in front of his door. His design approach of setting enigmatic clues and favoring technologically advanced design trends has so far worked in his favor. The fact that the company is selling its first 100 units on StockX proves that it is a phone designed for the TikTok generation. From the retro-futuristic typeface to the partnership with Scandinavian geniuses of technological design Teenage Engineering, the brand clearly satisfies the “hypebeast” audience. And at first glance, it seems to work.

Despite the polarizing design, Nothing Phone 1 made people talk. That’s as good as viral marketing gets.

The worst thing that can happen to a new brand is when people don’t talk about it. Nothing that takes center stage in conversations at the intersection of culture, design and technology is so fantastic. In fact, as part of a recent office conversation, I discussed with my colleagues that design is truly the last frontier where a smartphone can truly innovate. Nothing Phone 1 is bold through its selective use of the Bauhaus and even a brutal sense of design. It’s the polarizing part of the conversation.

The Glyph interface is perhaps the epitome of function-driven design – a key principle of the Bauhaus philosophy. Nothing Phone uses a series of 900 LEDs arranged in design patterns along the length and width of the phone. They act as notification LEDs, charge progress bars, ring animations, and even as a charge light during video recording. It’s an ingenious and certainly something that no big brand would experiment with. I can’t wait to see what the developers will do with it.

It’s refreshing to see a company talk about playing well with a wider ecosystem instead of creating a proprietary one.

Pei’s ambitions, however, are much greater than the design itself. Pei talked about creating an ecosystem of interconnected devices and the ability of phones to interact with connected peripherals from other manufacturers. That is ambitious. And while he may not be able to realize all of his dreams within the first or two iterations, it’s certainly refreshing to see the company talk about a broader ecosystem instead of creating its own AIOT (Artificial Intelligence) strategy.

The competition is fierce and great value can be found there

OnePlus Nord 2 with OnePlus Nord and OnePlus 9

Dhruv Bhutani / Management for Android

While design and art are easy enough to appreciate, it is proof of how much people separate themselves from money from their wallets. And that will be a much more difficult task for Pei and his team this time.

The smartphone market is saturated. Some might even say that there is a burning sensation from smartphones, but that’s not a bad thing. Going through the last few years of popular smartphones, it is easy to recognize some trends. Areas of focus mostly revolved around slightly better cameras, faster charging, and slightly improved design. Leaving aside emerging categories such as collapsible ones, the revolutionary innovation has stopped abruptly. Instead, a steady stream of reliable and dependable phones has emerged in a range of price levels and user requirements. There really is something for everyone. It is simply not possible to differentiate with pure specifications when every other phone has the same extensive specification. But is the ring of LED lights directly from the Middle Encounters of the third kind the answer? Only time will tell.

With economies of scale in the game, Nothing Phone 1 may not be competitive.

The very cost-effectiveness of introducing a brand new phone makes this venture even more difficult for a startup. Rumors suggest that Nothing Phone 1 will have a Snapdragon 7-series chipset, which puts it in a mid-range camp. Meanwhile, companies like Xiaomi, Poco, Realme and more are taking advantage of economies of scale to bring premium chips and premium cameras to the same segment. It remains to be seen whether the market will respond positively to a design-based approach to the detriment of specifications, but the historical priority as we saw with HMD Global and Essential Phone leaves me skeptical.

Read more: If Nothing Phone 1 isn’t cheap, it won’t work

Even from a software point of view, we’ve already gotten an insight into what Nothing has in mind. The beta release of the Nothing launcher turned out to be a lot, well, nothing. In addition, smartphone brands have certainly moved the needle forward when it comes to software. Compared to the early days of OnePlus, today software is more about consumer preferences than about choosing less bad or intrusive skin. In fact, brands even offer updates of three or more years, making it difficult to create marketing noise around these basic things.

Not everything is a disaster

Nothing (1) buds in black on the table next to the open case

Rita El Khoury / Management for Android

While it’s great to approach every new piece of technology with a dose of skepticism, the fact is that Pei has proven that his guerrilla marketing tactics work. Not only did it drive a group of fans crazy, but it also successfully managed to sell more than 600,000 copies of Nothing Ear 1.

The calling system, although we’ve already seen it, is an ingenious solution to the very real problem of scarce inventory and the bare cost of sitting on a smartphone list. It ensures fast movement of units, and at the same time encourages fast purchases.

Nothing Phone 1 is clearly designed for cool internet trendsetters instead of for PUBG addicts.

Loyalty to OnePlus phones is built on geeks scrolling through online forums that review specifications and custom ROMs. The landscape of smartphones has changed dramatically since then. The creator’s economy is real, and purchasing decisions are absolutely motivated by them. The design sells, and cool tricks like innovative LED lights cause noise. While Nothing can still serve as a home for tired OnePlus fans, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that Pei made the right call by opting for a phone design for cool trendsetters instead of PUBG addicts.

See also: Nothing is borrowing all the right moves from an early OnePlus playbook

Nothing Phone 1 hand on MKBHD

Look, I want Nothing Phone 1 to work. It’s an exciting and refreshing look at how the phone can look. I’m also well aware that I’ll forget all about the design as soon as I put the case on it, but unlike the monolithic piece of metal that is my Galaxy S22 Ultra, removing the case with Nothing Phone 1 would still evoke some emotion and even a sense of togetherness if you will. (Editor’s note: Or you can buy a transparent box.)

Nothing Phone 1 shows character, and only that gives it a genuine chance of success.

Ultimately, the success or failure of a phone will depend entirely on how well the brand conducts the launch, pricing and after-sales support. This, however, doesn’t detract from the fact that Pei’s marketing wizard has set up Nothing Phone 1 so he has a chance at true success. Maybe lightning can really strike twice.

Can Carl Pei launch another successful smartphone brand?

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