When Carl Pei left OnePlus and started his own company, we all knew the drill. Nothing employed infamous OnePlus-style hype tactics from the outset, but — thankfully — it's time to finally see what the company has been working on. The Nothing ear (1) seem to have all the features you'd want from a set of true wireless earbuds, and their distinctive design will no doubt elicit the fawning adoration of fashionistas and influencers.
How would you like to buy a mainstream audio accessory in 2021? Did you actually say you want to bid for it in an auction? Well, I'm not judging your choices (jk, totally am), but Carl Pei's Nothing company has cooked up just that situation for those looking to pay through the nose for (what should be) a relatively affordable pair of truly wireless earbuds.
I should clarify right from the off: the OnePlus Nord CE is not a bad phone. Far from it, in fact — it’s the best Nord phone since the original, especially after the other budget offerings came with too many compromises to be worth recommending in the face of stiff competition. The Nord CE is a solid performer in most areas.
However, as good as it is, it simply serves as further evidence that the OnePlus we used to treasure has veered so far from its original mission that it’s no longer recognizable. Recent news that the company is further integrating with Oppo isn’t at all surprising, but it’s been true for a while now that the flagship killing, "Never Settle" attitude is no longer at the heart of what OnePlus is all about.
According to a filing at the UK Intellectual Property Office (first spotted by 9to5Google), Carl Pei's new company Nothing has purchased Andy Rubin's Essential. The acquisition was completed on January 6th, and while Nothing's ultimate goals still remain frustratingly unclear beneath an obscured layer of fake viral social media hype, this could indicate that smartphones are a goal.
Since leaving OnePlus, founder Carl Pei has spent his time raising $7m for a secretive project, and today we finally learned the name of his new company: Nothing. It's a typically pretentious name for a brand we still know very little about. Previous rumors have pointed to audio products but the latest official word only refers to upcoming releases as "smart devices."
After co-founding the OnePlus back in 2013, Carl Pei left the company in September to take some time off ahead of starting a new venture. That new project is already underway, and Pei has announced that he's been able to secure $7m in seed funding from friends and family ahead of a full unveiling early next year.
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Carl Pei was one of the founders of OnePlus, alongside Pete Lau, and helped turn the company from a little-known "startup" (read: division of OPPO) into one of the most popular Android smartphone brands worldwide. However, Pei has seemingly now left his role at the company after nearly seven years.
OnePlus hyped the Nord up for a long time, so it's a good thing that the phone lives up to expectations. For £379, this is one hell of a phone, but those of us that don't live in European or Indian markets have been left out. We have some good news, though; according to OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei, a Nord phone of some sort will be coming stateside soon.
A major strength of OnePlus since its inception has been its willingness to engage with its community of users and, by this point, fans. That doesn't show any sign of changing, thankfully, and in the wake of the OnePlus 6T launch, co-founder Carl Pei and his team hosted an AMA on the company's forum.