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Nothing wants to launch its phone (1) in the US and is negotiating with carriers — but it's not going to compete with the iPhone in its home country for many years.
Nothing Phone (1) launched in Europe, Asia and the Middle East in July 2022, but not in the US and Canada. Now Nothing, backed in part by iPod father Tony Fadell, says it hopes to start selling in the States at some point.
According to CNBC, Nothing founder Carl Pei says “we felt like we weren't ready before” but have now begun some talks.
“The reason we didn't launch in the US is because you need more tech support to support all carriers and their unique customizations that they need to do on top of Android,” Pei told CNBC. “We are currently in talks with some carriers in the US about a possible launch of a future product there,” he continued.
Pei did not name carriers or specify whether the plan is for the Phone (1) or, more likely, a future model.
“[The US] is definitely a market where our products are already generating a lot of interest,” he said. “And if we launch our smartphones there, I’m sure we can achieve significant growth.”
Nothing sells Ear headphones (sticks) in the US anymore, and Pei says a third of all sales come from the States. He says smartphones are harder to sell because of iOS's strong position in the US.
“There are problems with Android while iOS is becoming more and more dominant,” Pei said. “They have a very strong connection to iMessage, AirDrop, especially among Gen Zers. So that worries me more and more.”
“Perhaps the time will come when Apple will own 80% of the entire market, and there will simply be no room left for Android manufacturers to continue to play,” he continued.
Pei adds that he thinks that in a couple of years, Nothing is going to “seriously think about this [iOS dominance] problem and how we solve it.” At some point, “this will create a ceiling for our growth.”
Economic and manufacturing problems
In an interview with CNBC, Pei said that Nothing approached the Apple iPhone maker, Foxconn, with a proposal for a phone (1). However, Foxconn refused, saying it was reportedly no longer working with any startups after previous attempts where it constantly lost money.
Nothing also brings losses, but partly because of the global economic situation.
“Our goal is to be profitable in 2024,” Pei said. “Now we have no profit. And this year has become even harder because of the foreign exchange.”
“We pay most of our [cost of goods sold] in US dollars, but we make money in pounds sterling, in euros, in Indian rupees,” he continued, “so everything depreciates against the US dollar “.
However, Pei told CNBC that Nothing will have about $250 million in revenue in 2022. He also said that half a million Phones were sold (1).
This is just a small sample of at least 220 million iPhones that Apple plans to release in 2022.
Besides competing with such sales, Nothing needs to navigate everything anyway. the same technological challenges of the US for which she did not feel ready before.
If they resolve them, and if the announced negotiations with carriers continue, it will be a few more years before the Nothing Phone (1) appears in the US.