Nothing Phone 2 will be something in the US – the flashy phone is coming in 2023
An in-depth exclusive interview reveals lots of plans, but little detail about the new phone
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: The US gets Nothing
☎️ Nothing Phone 2 will be more “premium” than the Nothing Phone 1
🥱 Nothing CEO Pei says consumers are bored with new phones
🧑🎨 The company’s small size means it can be more creative
🤔 Pei demurred when asked about phone specs – no details about hardware
💰 Nothing revenue last year increased almost 10-fold over 2021
🏪 The company will open retail stores globally, is cautious about a US store
Smartphones are pretty boring these days, right? That’s the idea behind the Nothing Phone anyway, and now, the follow-up to the intriguing Nothing Phone 1, appropriately named the Nothing Phone 2, is officially coming to the US market in 2023, according to a story at Inverse.
In an interview with Nothing CEO and co-founder Carl Pei, who had previously co-founded OnePlus, several details about the company’s release plans for the new phone have come to light, although specifics about the forthcoming Nothing Phone 2 remain scant.
According to Pei, launching in the US market is the company’s number 1 priority for 2023. That follows Nothing’s water-testing launch of its Nothing Ear (1) earbuds, one third of the sales of which were in the United States alone. That, along with a nearly 10-fold increase in revenue in 2022, told the company demand is there for its products.
Nothing suspects this is down to its design philosophy, which assumes that one of the primary reasons smartphone demand has dropped in recent years because, Pei says, as smartphone makers’ products have matured, they’ve become somewhat stagnant, largely out of necessity – make something too new, and you risk alienating your base.
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Nothing to see here
Inverse asked Pei about the phone, but he demurred on details, only saying the company was creating something more premium in the Nothing Phone 2 than its first smartphone outing. Software will also be a “big focus area.”
For Nothing, it doesn’t sound like that necessarily means the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Qualcomm chipset we’re expecting to give the Samsung Galaxy S23 performance that overshadows last year’s Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – Pei avoided confirming the high-powered chip for Nothing Phone 2.
The latest and greatest may not be required, though. As Pei notes, “mobile chipsets have really improved over the last 7-9 years,” and it’s not strictly necessary to make a phone that can handle huge workloads. He said hardware design was the main reason people switched back to Android when buying the Nothing Phone 1. That makes sense, given user trends of keeping phones for longer between upgrades that predates the pandemic and associated economic slowdown. Beefy, powerful processors don’t seem to be doing much to drive demand, on their own.
Pei elaborated on its work to bring development of the code underpinning its software completely in-house, saying it now has 100 people working on that team (it had only five for the Nothing Phone 1, outsourcing much of its software work to Teenage Engineering). That 100-person team joins a now-400-strong employee base, up from 200 back in 2021, allowing the company to make bigger moves than before.
Finally, though the company is planning to open more retail stores worldwide after the successful December 2022 launch of its London store, Nothing is hesitant to open one in the US, but cites the possible recession as an opportunity to do so, as retail property would likely be available cheap. Whether in person at a store or ordering online though, one thing sounds very likely: we’ll be able to ogle the probably glyph-covered, transparent Nothing Phone 2 in the US this year.