If you’re looking for a gap in the market, you have to say that ‘smartphones’ probably isn’t a great place to start. Yet that’s exactly what OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s new company, awkwardly named Nothing, has set its sights on, and we may well see the fruits of its R&D department this week.
Instead, the semi-official phone — even more awkwardly named “Nothing Phone (1)” — is set to become official. Pei has already confirmed it exists and is coming this summer, and the official account has offered a series of somewhat eclectic talking points including the use of recycled materials, wireless charging and the absence of a chin.
The transparent back remark is interesting. Before Nothing launched its only product to date — the strangely branded ‘ear (1)’ earbuds — the company teased a concept semi-see-through set of earphones:
But what we actually ended up with dialled that down quite a bit:
While those details are all that’s officially confirmed, other rumours point to a 6.43in AMOLED HD screen with 90Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support. That, paired with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor, 8GB RAM and 128GB storage points to an upper midrange handset of the kind that OnePlus used to specialise in before the company started chasing the expensive flagship end of the market.
Of course, there’s a very good chance it’ll be import only in New Zealand, given small newcomers like Nothing don’t have the luxury of selling all over the world. But even if that is the case, it makes an interesting case study: can small, nimble startups flourish where inflexible giants like Sony and LG flounder?
Hopefully we’ll get our first suggestion one way or another this week, but if so it does suggest the company’s marketing nouse could do some work. In a few hours’ time, Apple’s giant WWDC keynote will begin, and if the company drops hints about its rumoured AR/VR headset, then it’s hard to see a new me-too phone getting much of a look in, chin or no chin…