London-based technology company Nothing tomorrow will release its first smartphone, the phone (1). For many people, this will be the first time they learn about the company.
It’s not often that a new player in the smartphone game gets to try to compete with Apple and Samsung, but Nothing believes it has what it takes. Waiting for launch, UKTN looks at how the company went from nothing to something.
Nothing was founded by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei in 2020 after leaving the company, raising $7 million in seed investment from the likes of Tony Fadel, Casey Neistat, Kevin Lin, Steve Huffman, and Josh Buckley.
Nothing includes Google
Then followed a GV (formerly Google Ventures) investment of $15 million the venture capital arm of Google parent Alphabet in Nothing’s Series A, with plans to use the funds to launch its first device.
An interesting move by the tech giant as it already makes its own brand of Pixel phones.
Last March, the company held it the first round of community crowdfundingwhere he managed to raise £1 million in just 54 seconds for his first hardware product, wireless headphones.
These transparent headphones were released a few months later in July under the name ear (1). First 100 units sold at StockX Online Market.
When purchasing headphones through its website, the customer is given the option to pay in a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD coins, and Dogecoin.
Later in October, Nothing raised another $50 million and announced a partnership with Qualcomm Technologies.
The company then brought in Adam Bates, Dyson’s former head of design and experience, as design director.
Nothing was raised $70m (£53.5m) in Series B funding a funding round led by EQT Ventures and C Ventures in March this year, bringing the total funding to $144m (£110m).
Then in March, they started teasing the phone’s design (1) with a rather cryptic image below.
Then in June, the company unveiled the design of its phone (1), revealing that it will have a transparent back and areas that light up for notifications in the form of the previous image.
Dubbed the Glyph Interface, the lights can be used to signal notifications, calls and charging.
Like the ear (1), Nothing also said it will auction the first 100 phones (1) through StockX. Like the original OnePlus, the phone (1) is available through an invite-only system.
Nothing is the future
But will Nothing be able to compete with existing players dominating the mobile space like Apple and Samsung?
It’s not an easy task at hand by any means, but Carl Pei has already managed it with OnePlus, so there’s no reason why he couldn’t do it again.
Other UK smartphone companies include handset maker Vertu, WileyFox (which has gone into administration) and rugged phone maker Bullitt Group.
UKTN will be covering the Nothing’s phone (1) launch in London tomorrow.