OnePlus One vibes, anyone?
Carl Pei’s Nothing on Tuesday announced that it will launch its first product, the Ear 1 truly wireless (TWS) earbuds in June. The product is expected to release globally and in India at around the same time, given Nothing’s ongoing India push that saw the brand recently hire ex-Samsung VP Manu Sharma as its vice president and general manager and former technology journalist Megha Vishwanath as PR manager for its India operations.
The Ear 1 will possibly build on the concept product — Concept 1 — that Nothing showed off in March at least as far as positioning and focus are concerned. Nothing had hinted that the final product — Ear 1 — may look different from what was shown back then. Today’s announcement is thin on product design as well as feature set, instead it is heavily loaded with marketing mumbo jumbo like “stripped-down aesthetics” that apparently echo the brand’s “raw ambition to change the market” that is seemingly “begging for differentiation”, again, in line with its Carl Pei-ish marketing approach — something that lone-term OnePlus fans will relate to.
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Still, you can make a few assumptions and guesses basis of an image shared by Nothing accompanying the announcement. The Ear 1 TWS earbuds may have a piston-style bud and a long stem sort of like the AirPods, in sharp contradiction to the Concept 1’s tobacco pipe-like aesthetic. Nothing has previously confirmed that its first TWS earbuds will have a minimalist design without any “unnecessary branding” on the surface so that should stay put in the final version set to launch in June.
Nothing is reiterating once again that these earbuds will be part of a bigger, more diverse portfolio of hardware products that it will launch in the days to come. “The earphones market will provide a fertile backdrop as we strengthen our capabilities and prepare to enter new product categories,” the brand said in a statement adding that the earphones market is “a space where we can elevate design and deliver value from day one.”
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) May 11, 2021
London-based Nothing has some of the most prominent firms and figures backing it already. The brand has secured $7 million seed financing from iPod inventor Tony Fadell, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, YouTuber Casey Neistat, an undisclosed amount from CRED founder Kunal Shah, and another $15 million in Series A funding led by Alphabet VC arm GV (formerly Google Ventures). It has also opened the platform for its tech-enthusiast community so it could ‘be part of Nothing’ and help create its future products. Needless to say, there’s a lot of excitement around the Ear 1 to see how Carl Pei channels his thoughts and energy and whether there will be similarities with OnePlus especially around pricing.