Nothing CEO Carl Pei teases a more “premium” Phone 2

You might be tired of Nothing puns, but I am not.

Fergus Halliday
Digital Content Editor
Read More
January 31, 2023
2 min read

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Nothing is finally ready to say something about its plans for 2023.

Speaking to Inverse, Nothing CEO Carl Pei confirmed that both a US expansion and the launch of the Nothing Phone 2 are in the works.

According to Pei, the United States is Nothing's "#1 priority" when it comes to expanding into new markets. This ambition to make in-roads abroad comes off the back of rising revenues for the startup, which grew from $24 million in 2021 to over $200 million in 2022.

Pei said that this strong performance has helped give the company the manpower and momentum it needs to take a serious crack at the North American market. 

“We're really excited about the U.S. market because it's a big country. If you look at our earbuds sales, about one-third comes from the U.S. And by not launching our phone in the U.S., we're leaving potentially a third of the volume on the table," he said.
Nothing Phone 1 white

The other big move on the cards for Nothing in 2023 looks to be the launch of the company's second smartphone, which Pei confirmed would be called the Phone 2.

Aside from that name and a broad release window of "later this year" for the new device, Pei didn't offer up much in the way of specifics about what the Phone 2 will look like or what parts it'll have inside it. It seems likely that the Glyph Interface will be making a return, but we'll have to wait and see.

Still, Pei did share an interesting insight into how the handset will sit relative to last year's Phone 1.

“We’re developing a smartphone that’s more premium than the Nothing Phone (1) and software will be a big focus area for us,” he said.

Pei indicated that this interest in software is one matched by investment, revealing that the company's software team is now close to 100 people in size. This increase in manpower indicates a shift in how Nothing is treating the software side of the equation.

“When we started Phone (1) we only had about five engineers on the mobile team so a lot of the work had to be done by other companies,” Pei said.

He added that this move towards in-house software development is already proving popular with customers.

“People really feel like the Android 13 beta that we released is a step up from the previous Nothing OS that was half in-house and half outsourced," he said.

In our review of the Phone 1, we concluded that "the Nothing Phone 1 is a standout device for those looking to spend no more than $800 on their smartphone. There's room for improvement, but its unique and fresh design helps it stand out against the iPhone SE and Google Pixel 6a."

While it wasn't billed as a budget device by any means, the approachable asking price of the Phone 1 made the value it offered easy to see relative to more expensive devices.

Here's hoping Pei's promise of a more premium follow-up doesn't come with the price to match it. 

Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a Digital Content Editor for who specialises in technology, entertainment, gaming and pop culture. His work has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, Press Start Australia, The AU Review, Screen Rant, Superjump and more. You can follow him on Twitter.

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