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Nothing Phone 2’s U.S. Release Just Got One Step Closer To Reality

Nothing Phone 2’s U.S. Release Just Got One Step Closer To Reality


London-based tech startup Nothing is less than two weeks away from the launch of its Phone (2), a device that could prove to be the company’s first big step into the U.S. market, directly competing against Apple and other smartphone makers. The Phone (2) is set for a global launch on July 11. Its predecessor, the Phone (1), was only released in Europe and India; a U.S. release proved too difficult and expensive due to the lack of carrier support and other technical restrictions. However, thanks to a successful $96 million funding round announced today, bringing the company’s total fundraising to $250 million, Nothing is now poised to finally enter the American market.

It’s still unclear what arrangements Nothing will make with U.S. mobile carriers, but an unlocked Phone (2) will be available in the U.S. soon. Considering its fundraising momentum, it’s likely that Nothing will be able to fully integrate its unique product into the landscape of American smartphones at some point, and expand from there. The company has made it clear that its new influx of cash, including the latest funding round led mainly by Highland Europe, will be used to expand and scale its business, as well as add new devices to its small, but impressive, lineup. 

Nothing was founded in 2020 by Carl Pei, the 33-year-old co-founder of OnePlus. Since then, the company has focused on earbuds and its original smartphone, the Phone (1), selling 1.5 million units to date. Despite its relatively small size, Nothing has been standing out from other competitors due to its intentionally unique design strategies that are a direct response to the homogeneity that has settled into many tech products. “We’re not trying to be Apple 2023,” Pei told Forbes. “We’re trying to be the Apple of the 1980s.”

A phone designed to be used less

The Nothing Phone (2) will run on Android, but don’t expect it to look like a typical Apple alternative built by Google or Samsung. Like the Phone (1), the case will be transparent, showing the inner components of the device. Nothing is also focusing on making it more useful and less distracting for its users. Despite passive measures like screen time monitors, most current smartphones and apps try to keep users invested by using frequent push notifications and other “dark patterns.” Nothing looks to combat this with its Nothing OS platform, which is monochrome and intentionally avoids looking flashy. By removing bright colors and other cues that make certain apps like Instagram and Snapchat demand your attention, Nothing hopes to “de-gamify” smartphones and focus on their functionality.

Another tactic is to allow users to keep their smartphone face down. With 900 LED lights built into the back of the device, users can still get alerts without the need to open the screen and get sucked into other apps. Message alerts will appear as a bar of gold lights, for example, and important callers can have their own unique LED patterns. The lights can also be used for timers and other push notification replacements. Vital information can be relayed without you ever needing to touch the device.

As Carl Pei explained to Forbes, “You can do more on your phone without needing to open apps and fall into the loops that get you addicted.” When it does finally reach the U.S., American customers looking for something different and less distracting may find that the Nothing Phone (2) fills that smartphone niche.

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