Carl Pei's Nothing Wants To Take On Apple In The U.S.

While it may not have set the sales charts on fire or single-handedly revolutionized the smartphone sector, there is no denying that the Nothing Phone (1) — a smartphone made by the U.K.-based company Nothing — is among the most talked-about smartphones of 2022. There are two reasons for the Nothing Phone (1)'s notability: First, it came from a company headed by the former co-founder of OnePlus. Secondly, despite its mid-range spec sheet, it came with a distinctive feature called the Glyph Interface — a series of LED strips that adorn the Nothing Phone (1)'s rear panel. From serving as simple notification LEDs that light up to make users aware of new messages/notifications, to rhythmically lighting up while playing music and receiving calls — the Glyph falls somewhere between a handy feature and a complete gimmick. While opinion is divided on the Glyph interface, even its detractors agree that it is a conversation starter.

Since its launch in July, the Nothing Phone (1) has been on sale in select markets worldwide; primarily in Europe, the Middle East, India, and a handful of other Asian countries. While consumers in the U.S. could import the Nothing Phone (1), Nothing never officially launched the phone in the U.S. Given that it's been six months since the phone (1) launched, it is unlikely the company will make it available to customers in the U.S. However, in a recent interview with CNBC, Nothing CEO Carl Pei revealed that he intends to launch its future smartphones in the U.S.

Gunning for the big boys in the U.S.

With over 50% of the market, according to Counterpoint Research, Apple pretty much dominates the smartphone segment in the U.S. In second place is Samsung, which has roughly 30% market share. These numbers, however, don't seem to bother Pei. In his interview with CNBC, Pei revealed his company's intention to challenge the dominance of the iPhone in the U.S. market. Pei stopped short of revealing how he plans to do this, and how soon he expects this to happen. While there is no denying that Pei's task sounds near-insurmountable right now, this is a battle that Pei is willing to wage.

One of the reasons for Pei to take this task is his concerns about the continuing dominance of Apple in the U.S. Pei says he is worried that Apple may end up gobbling up 80% of the smartphone market in the U.S. — turning it into a monopoly. In fact, he believes that Apple has been fairly successful at that, given the strong lock-in it enjoys among iOS users.

The CNBC report also explains why Nothing did not launch the Nothing Phone (1) in the U.S. region. According to Pei, for a company still in the startup phase, it was difficult for them to handle the unique carrier customizations and technical support aspects that needed to be addressed before launching the phone. Pei, however, revealed that his company has begun talking to several carriers in the U.S. — which should open up the possibility of a Nothing Phone officially making it to the U.S. in the near future.