Nothing Phone 1 Isn't Gracing The US Market With Its Fancy LEDs

If you've been eyeing the Nothing Phone (1) with a degree of interest, we might have bad news for you. Nothing has just confirmed what the rumor mill had already been buzzing about. The company's first smartphone is not going to be available in the United States, at least at first. Is this controversial choice a conscious decision, or is it simply an obstacle that the budding company had been unable to overcome?

Carl Pei, of OnePlus fame, has done a good job hyping up the Nothing Phone (1) alongside his social media team. However, it appears that the hype was all for nothing, at least where U.S. users are concerned. No matter how fantastic the Nothing Phone (1) might turn out to be, countless potential users will not get to try it out — and if they will, they might find that it doesn't work well with their carrier.

While the company confirmed that you can still try to use the Phone (1) in the United States, you'll need to make sure you understand which radio bands this device has, and which are missing. Because of the hardware included in this device, if you attempt to use the Phone (1) with a Verizon sim card, you won't have any service at all. A T-Mobile card will deliver very little coverage if any coverage at all. Those on AT&T will have no access to voice-over-4G, and spotty coverage to boot. What caused this, and is there any hope for the phone to arrive in the U.S. at full capacity in the future? 

No Nothing Phone (1) in the U.S., yet

"we're focusing on home markets, including the U.K. and Europe, where we have strong partnerships with leading local carriers," said a Nothing representative Speaking with PCMag. "It takes a lot to launch a smartphone as you know, from ensuring the handset is supported by the country's cellular technologies to carrier partnerships and local regulation, and as we're still a young brand we need to be strategic about it."

Although that doesn't sound too optimistic, the company representative also promised that the team at Nothing has "big plans to launch a U.S. supported smartphone in the future." It also notes that some private community investors in the U.S. will be able to try the Phone (1) during a closed beta program. It's entirely possible, however, that the smartphone mentioned by Nothing may not turn out to be an original Phone (1) by the time it's launched. Let's take OnePlus as an example. The first several devices made by OnePlus were available for purchase in the U.S., but the brand didn't secure a spot on any carrier shelves until they released the OnePlus 6T. If the first phone from Nothing aims for a similar launch scheme, and it very well might, it may be a while before it's given any sort of official major brand carrier support. 

Was this a conscious decision or a necessity caused by local regulations? Most likely a bit of both. For the time being, the Phone (1) will launch in the U.K. and in Europe, so those of us not based on that side of the planet will have to admire its interesting design only from afar.