Technology

Can the Nothing phone repeat the success of its wireless earbuds?

Nothing’s first smartphone has generated a lot of hype, however, whether the final product will live up to that hype remains to be seen.

Nothing’s first smartphone has generated a lot of hype, however, whether the final product will live up to that hype remains to be seen. | Photo Credit: Nothing

In a short time, Nothing has become a well-known brand, owing to the hype generated by the unique design and low price point of its debut product – a set of wireless earbuds dubbed the ear (1).

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Now, the privately held company founded by none other than Carl Pei, who was also the co-founder of OnePlus, and backed by GV, Tony Fadell, Casey Netstat, Kevin Lin, and Steve Huffman, is all set to make its entry into the fiercely competitive smartphone market.

While Nothing may not have the same brand recall or the market dominance enjoyed by competitors like Samsung, OnePlus, Apple or even Xiaomi or Oppo, it has one thing going its way. The London-based firm has perfected the art of creating hype around its products, something which its competitors had to work for years on end to achieve.

Nothing’s hype may be its best sales pitch

Last year, Nothing launched its wireless earbuds, featuring a unique design, decent sound quality, and excellent built at an aggressive price point. The ear (1) lived up to the hype, paving the way for the consumer tech firm’s next product the phone (1).

Now, the company’s phone with its “Glyph Interface” has generated enough hype for consumers around the world to take note of the handset even before it hits the shelves.

So, it would not be wrong to say that even though we may have to wait for some time to assess the quality and performance of Nothing’s first smartphone, there is no denying that Nothing, not unlike the OnePlus of old, has consumers as well as enthusiasts hooked to every piece of information about its latest product.

Besides, hype in the current market is one of the surest ways to ensure sales, especially when it targets younger consumers. To top it all, the company’s aggressive stand on managing its carbon footprint seems to have won it quite a lot of followers in its targeted demography.

“Remember when tech used to be fun? The excitement of taking home a new gadget. Unwrapping it with wonder. Turning it on. Every interaction, a new surprise,” reads the company’s blog introducing the unique and eye-catching glyph design that lights up the back of the handset. It is easily going to be one of the most recognisable designs in the smartphone line-up for the year. With all of the hype going its way, all the company has to do is deliver on the promise of “tech that just works seamlessly”.

An old strategy for a new product?

For many, Nothing’s trajectory might seem familiar. If you are unable to place, why? Let us remind you that OnePlus in its early days had followed a somewhat similar trajectory, albeit in a little different sense. The early handsets from OnePlus were marketed as flagship killers, which was enough to generate hype, regardless of its invite-only sales approach.

While OnePlus was unable to dethrone the flagship sales of Apple or Samsung, it provided good products at great price points, and at the same time managed to create brand loyalty in the segment in a very short span of time.

Now Nothing with its, if I may say so, quirky design is trying to do the same. And let us not forget that despite the hype around the physical design of the phone, which flaunts its customisable glyph lights and its see-through body, the OS as well as the long-term performance of the device is yet to be put to the test.

So, while the phone has grabbed headlines and trended on Google, its performance is still untested. Based on rumours, the device’s Snapdragon 778+ chipset puts it in the budget segment, which is already brimming with several devices from Samsung, Honor, and BBK-owned brands. And Nothing’s phone (1) with its untested OS and unique design has a long way to go before it can gain the tag of ‘living up to the hype’.


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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 9:31:24 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/can-nothings-phone-repeat-success-nothing-wireless-earbuds-nabeel-ahmed/article65599183.ece