VMO2 bets on a whole lot of Nothing

Nothing, the latest supposedly disruptive smartphone brand, will be offered exclusively by O2 in the UK when they get around to making it.

Founded by the bloke behind the OnePlus brand, Carl Pei, Nothing aims to shake up the smartphone market in ways so revolutionary it refuses to disclose them, presumably for fear of blowing our minds. So avant-garde and too-cool-for-school is Nothing that it can’t even be bothered to give its phone a proper name, simply calling it ‘phone (1)’, without the definite article of course.

“When we started Nothing we wanted to bring back the excitement we once felt for the tech industry,” said Pei. “Joining forces with leading telcos and retailers, we look forward to shaking up the smartphone market together. We can’t wait to reveal phone (1) to the world later this summer.”

We can wait. Don’t get us wrong, it might be amazing, but right now it’s all hype and no substance, so what is there to get excited about? Virgin Media O2 is clearly more persuaded than we are, however, as it has signed up to the sole operator partner for this wonderphone. Telekom has been similarly seduced in Germany and that’s all we know for now.

“We want to make sure that O2 customers always have access to the latest and greatest technology,” said Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Officer of VMO2. “Nothing phone (1) provides a combination of great design and technology that offers something truly unique for our customers.”

Like what? All this edgy marketing betrays how difficult it has been to do anything innovative with smartphones since Android became the default platform for non-Apple ones and the world settled on the simple touchscreen form factor. Nothing seems to think its Android user interface will be its unique selling point but it’s hard to imagine what significant differentiators it could offer. It looks like we just have a few months to wait to find out.


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