Apart from its ear(1) wireless earbuds, not too much is actually known about Nothing’s product plans, but that’s set to change as the company has sent out invites to a roadmap event.
Called ‘The Truth’, the livestream event will take place on March 23 at 2pm GMT (9am ET / 6am PT) where the company will “share news about our 2022 roadmap + a new opportunity for community investment.”
The London-based firm also announced a $70M Series B funding round, so the fact it’s going to ask for investment from the general public for a second time may raise some eyebrows after an initial community funding round in the middle of 2021 raised $1.5m.
That came after $7m of seed funding in 2020 and a Series A funding round of $15m in 2021 – just how much cash does it need to achieve its goals?
At least this time round public investors may have a better idea of what they are investing in, as the 2021 round came before the company had announced any products.
The hope for Nothing’s roadmap event is it will give us a clearer idea of what the firm’s plans are – including a potential smartphone.
Are we getting a Nothing phone?
Nothing has previously confirmed it is working on an ecosystem of products, suggesting its portfolio may end up being rather diverse, but one of the hottest rumors surrounds a smartphone.
Company founder, Carl Pei, was previously co-founder at OnePlus and has built a vast reputation – and online following – in the world of affordable flagship phones.
A smartphone would certainly play to Pei’s strengths, and a Nothing phone would be something he’d know how to market to a dedicated and engaged audience.
And the Nothing phone rumors were given a boost earlier this week after infamous leaker @evleaks posted an image appearing to show Pei holding a device that doesn’t look like any currently-released phone we’ve seen. However, there’s no guarantee this is the Nothing phone in Pei’s hands.
Take a look for yourself in the tweet below.
Nothing to see here. pic.twitter.com/mzLeTVHSXmMarch 7, 2022
This leak does match up with a report a few days previous from Tech Crunch, which said it had been shown similar photograph by a “source with direct knowledge of the matter”.
We’ve also seen Pei post a cheeky tweet which read “Back on Android” in the middle of February, to which the official Android and Qualcomm Snapdragon accounts replied to with equally cryptic responses.
A Nothing phone looks highly likely then, and we may well learn more about it on March 23 – but should you be excited?
Why you should care about the Nothing phone
There aren’t too many mysteries in the technology world these days, with most products heavily leaked before their official announcements, leaving little to actually be revealed on launch day – but, so far, not much is known about the rumored Nothing phone.
That makes it a rarity, with only really the new iPhone SE 2022 and Mac Studio able to keep out of the leak limelight in recent months. So for the excitement and mystery factor alone, the Nothing phone is an intriguing proposition.
Then consider Pei’s background. OnePlus rocked the established smartphone market when it burst onto the screen in 2014 with its ‘flagship killer’, the OnePlus One.
(Image credit: TechRadar)
It was a major contributor to the shift in the market, where we saw numerous phone makers introduce ‘affordable flagship phones’ which offered up an eye-catching array of specs at price points which comfortably undercut the likes of Apple, HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony.
Now, a straight undercutting of Samsung and Apple (RIP HTC, LG) isn’t going to put the Nothing phone on the map in 2022 as there’s far more competition in the affordable flagship market with Honor, Oppo, Xiaomi, Realme and more all vying for your attention.
But what Pei isn’t afraid of is taking a risk and trying something a little bit different, even if it’s a marketing play that helps the brand get some separation.
While the company’s mission statement is all very blue-sky-thinking, it does leave the door open for something a bit different. “Imagine a world where all of your devices are seamlessly connected. Tech that just works. That you don’t have to think about. That feels like nothing” it reads.
Could it use a new material to make it feel like nothing before? Maybe it’ll feature a translucent body like the ear(1) buds. Or perhaps it’ll be able to read your mind and automatically perform actions – so you don’t have to think about it.
Okay, that last one is probably too far-fetched, but the fact is this could be the most exciting smartphone launch of the year – so it’ll be worth tuning in.