Nothing Phone 1 Is Coming To India Where Essential Phone Could Not Launch, Will Carl Pei Get Lucky


Carl Pei’s consumer tech brand Nothing’s Phone 1 is slated to be officially unveiled in some time at an event in London. The maiden smartphone from the company has also been hyped by the founder himself. While it is safe to say that Nothing has successfully created enough hype around its first smartphone, courtesy of the invite-only pre-orders, flamboyant transparent design, customisable LED lights and “Made in India” devices, it should also be noted that Nothing is entering an already-crowded smartphone market. A pertinent question here is: Will Nothing Phone 1 be a success in India where Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone could not launch? Here’s what analysts told ABP Live:

According to Navkendar Singh, Associate Vice President, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India, the marketing and uniqueness of the Nothing Phone 1’s design, driven by Carl Pei’s own brand as co-creator of OnePlus has helped the brand and this is something Essential didn’t do. However, this may not translate into good sales unless the smartphone fares well in terms of performance and camera.

“Hype has been created, but it has to be backed up by real-time performance of the device and camera. These two things are most important for any consumer. Especially in the mid-premium segment where almost all major brands (Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Samsung, OnePlus) play with multiple models,” Singh told ABP Live ahead of the launch.

Echoing similar sentiments, Tarun Pathak, Research Director at Counterpoint Research said: “The real driver for Nothing will be the post-purchase behaviour and feedback in terms of user interface and experience rather than just hardware specs or LED lights.”

“Compared to Essential, Nothing is a bit more vocal on social media. I would say Nothing is doing more noise than Essential. Essential was more of a POC that tried going commercial,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst of Techarc.

The Nothing Phone 1 is likely going to be a mid-range segment device where cameras and specifications such as SoC, battery and charging speeds can be a differentiating factor. The Rs 23,000-Rs 24,000 and above smartphone segment has grown by 60 per cent in the past few quarters and the Rs 30,000-Rs  40,000 segment has grown by 100 per cent YoY in Q1 of this year, as per IDC.

Currently, apart from the flamboyant transparent design, the Nothing Phone 1 does not have clear advantages over competing rivals in India. The India smartphone market is very competitive and consumers are demanding. However, Nothing still has a chance in the India market. “Even if the market is so crowded, India’s potential allows for entry of any brand,” Singh noted.

As per Manish Rawat, Analyst at Strategy Analytics, mere adding one more device in the Indian market does not make any difference unless Nothing brings something unique to the table. “Now smartphones are more focused on performance, and Nothing trying to make a mark in the market based on only its unique design will be difficult, given the rising inflation and fear of recession,” Rawat explained.

The Nothing Phone 1 may launch in the mid-range segment where it would compete with the likes of iQoo Neo 6, Samsung Galaxy Galaxy M52 and Poco F4 5G.