Latest Nothing teaser is high on hype but low on clarity

Upstart device maker Nothing finally gave those who care a look at the design of its impending smartphone, which features a transparent case.

Nothing has been teasing its ‘phone (1)’ for months, promising it will disrupt and reinvigorate a stale sector, but details have been thin on the ground. This week, however, it went so far as to host an actual physical event to give invited attendees a further taste of what’s to come. Some kind of launch event is scheduled for 12 July, so this represents yet another teaser.

The nature of this latest publicity stunt was indicated by the choice of venue – Art Basel, an art show hosted in the eponymous Swiss town. While their may be surprises in store regarding the technology and user interface, this reveal was all about industrial design. The back of the phone is made from clear plastic, you see, thus revealing some of the inner workings.

“For years now, it felt like all the artists had left the industry,” said Carl Pei, CEO and Co-founder of Nothing. “All we’re left with are cold, unexciting and derivative products. It was time for a fresh take. Phone (1) was designed out of instinct, making a product for ourselves and more importantly that we would be proud to share with our loved ones. Can’t wait for people to start experiencing it.”

For all the talk of a fresh take, both the industrial design and breathless hype are strongly reminiscent of Apple. And why not? If Nothing achieves 1% of the success of the iPhone Pei and co will presumably be ecstatic. Further novelties included the auction of 100 phone (1)s (see what they make us do with grammar and punctuation?) via a platform called StockX.

“Nothing is a disruptive brand at the forefront of current culture,” insisted Deena Bahri, StockX’s CMO. Our shared commitment to removing barriers and driving innovation is at the core of our continued collaboration. At StockX, we aim to empower everyone to connect to culture through their passions. Partnerships like this provide our customers exclusive access to products that are not only tech-forward, but also designed with self-expression in mind.”

Leaving nothing to chance, Nothing also lined up a roster of what we assume to be minor celebrities to add yet more glamour to the event. Pei was also the founder of OnePlus, so he definitely knows the smartphone business and has already lined up operator partners. It’s impossible to know whether he has managed to cram enough novelty into the new device to sufficiently intrigue the public but the timing of its launch is far from ideal.

Anyway, in case you’re not already sold here are a couple of photos and a vid in which Nothing execs patiently explain what a big deal the phone (1) is.


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