Carl Pei, the former OnePlus co-founder who recently left the company has announced his own venture – Nothing. The venture has been quietly expanding its horizons. Nothing is yet to announce its first product and we are not really sure what they are hiding under the sleeve. Not so long ago, they’ve reported that the company had secured a $15 million investment from Alphabet’s GV. Not just that, Nothing saw a $7 million round in seed financing in December 2020 that included notable tech leaders and investors like Tony Fadell, Casey Neistat, Tony Fadell, Kunal Shah, and the list goes on! Now, a report reveals that Android co-creator who is the founder of Essential smartphone transferred his defunct phone company to Pei’s firm.
This was first reported by 9To5Google. The filings found at the UK Intellectual Property Office now show that Essential is now owned by Carl Pei’s Nothing Technologies Ltd. The application was made back in November and the process has been completed as of January 6, 2021. Meaning, all the existing trademarks, logos, and the brand of Essential are the intellectual property of the Nothing brand. This is a piece of exciting news as it presents the possibility of us seeing the return of the Essential smartphones. Despite being not so successful, the concept and the product (Essential PH-1) itself are really good and there is definitely potential here.
But, this doesn’t mean that Nothing will produce a sequel to the Essential Phone. According to Android Authority, Some of the former Essential team left to work on privacy-minded products. Even if Pei’s startup has access to Essential’s since-canceled product line, it would not necessarily have the resources to pick up where that company left off.
According to some speculations, Nothing could launch an array of wireless earbuds with a wider focus on smart home technology. For those unaware, Essential was said to be working on a home smart hub and speaker with Ambient OS. But, as you may know, these products did not see the light of the day. Essential also had a lot of patents relating to “Voice setup instructions” and “voice-enabled home setup.” These could definitely help Nothing with their focus on smart homes. Nothing might work on smartphones based on the patents by Essential, but it’s a long shot and it could take some time to see a Nothing branded phone in the market.
Carl has previously confirmed that wireless earbuds will be the first product to launch by Nothing and this could happen sometime in summer. As per the trademark filed by the company, Nothing could launch smartphones, laptops, TVs, wearables, and various other IoT and audio products too. “We’re building an ecosystem of smart devices. We’ll start with simpler products like wireless earbuds. We’re going to have multiple products through the year, not just audio products, and eventually, we want to build it so these devices talk to each other”, said Carl. Before Essential was discontinued, it’s been working on its second smartphone under Project Gem which comes with this weird aspect ratio and looks like a TV-remote along with a smart home hub and speakers as mentioned earlier. Nothing is yet to officially announce the acquisition but we expect a statement to surface soon.
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