Carl Pei, Ex co-founder and face of the mobile phone company OnePlus had tried and to some extent succeeded in building a community around the OnePlus One. OnePlus was an innovative and user/community-friendly mobile phone company when it started the journey but unfortunately, it ended up being just an Oppo subsidiary.
The launch of the OnePlus One back in 2015 had perfect timing, there was a gap in the smartphone market after Google killed the Nexus series phones and started the Pixel; Google Pixel phones were more premium with poor availability version of the Nexus series. Some of the Pixel phones are milestones and undoubtedly the best phones to experience the Android but their availability in the different markets including India is still questionable.
A smartphone startup co-founded by Carl Pei and a group of technology enthusiasts had launched the OnePlus One with the near-stock in fact a better version of the stock Android OS. When OnePlus One got released in the market it had everything to be the Flagship Killer. And, hence the tagline for the OnePlus One truly justified it, as the ‘Flagship Killer’; It was a flagship killer in all aspects. It was one of the most popular phones not only because of its loads of features but also because of the uniqueness and its community-friendly branding which was actually making sense at that time.
The success of the OnePlus One is a phenomenal story about building a community around a mobile phone and brand but is it still the same? Is the company still on the same storyline? Is the company remains the same after the success of the OnePlus One?
No, the company got trapped in the same market strategy as all other smartphone companies like Oppo, Vivo, Samsung, and Mi. With the launch of every new phone, OnePlus went farther from OnePlue One and its slogan. Now, OnePlus is just another mobile phone brand in the market. The company has launched so many phones and is among the top mobile phone brands but it completely lost its root, its innovation, uniqueness, exclusivity, experience, and more importantly the community around the brand.
It’s understandable that generating revenue is also important for survival but it cost the initial fundamental of the OnePlus brand. OnePlus had filled the market gap as an ultimate alternative to Nexus Phones but the company couldn’t hold it for long. Now, there is the same gap or slot for an ideal Android Mobile phone with Stock Software, flagship hardware backed by tech-pro companies, and a strong community. And, the question is, will Nothing fill that gap? or nothing can fill that gap.
Carl Pei has been making hype about the upcoming Nothing Phone (1) and it’s getting all the attention because of the admiration and popularity Carl Pei has gained while launching the OnePlus. Smartphone enthusiasts are expecting that Carl Pei might take forward the legacy of the OnePlus One; Is “Nothing Phone 1” going to revive the legacy of “Flagship Killer” and build a fanbase community around it like OnePlus One? that’s definitely a million-dollar question.
Potential buyers who are looking for a true “Flagship Killer” kind of phone and who appreciate the uniqueness, and tech-first smartphones are having more expectations from the Nothing company since it is being hyped/marketed as a user-centric and not so boring smartphone. Apart from crowdfunding, the majority of Nothing investors are well known for their work in public space. Investors like Google Ventures, Steve Huffman [CEO and Co-founder of Reddit], Casey Neistat [YouTuber], Kevin Lin [Co-founder of Twitch], Josh Buckley [CEO of Product Hunt], Liam Casey [Founder and CEO, PCH], and Paddy Cosgrave [Founder of Web Summit].
These investors have a different level of fanbase and trust among the tech enthusiasts for their contribution to build the internet into a good place. Initial investors are adding reliability to the brand value and trust for the products that the company has launched or is about to launch.
The first impressions of the Nothing Phone 1 are all over the internet, and it seems promising except for the fact that its build and aesthetics are looking like iPhone12. It’s okay to copy the design rather influenced by the design and it won’t matter only if it is a good copy. If Nothing managed to build a phone with really good features and smooth performance being expected by the hardcore Android user and community then it won’t matter whether it is a copy of the iPhone or it’s an unique design.
However, the base design of Nothing Phone 1 may look like iPhone 12 but overall it’s looking impressive, especially the rear panel. It’s debatable whether the LED lights used on the rear side are useful or it’s just there for the sake of doing something unique. But, in any case, it would be interesting to have a hands-on of Phone 1.
Nothing Phone 1 is expected to feature a mid-range octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ processor, along with a 120Hz refresh rate OLED panel. The price and availability are not official yet, the Phone 1 will be officially unveiled on July 12.
Good luck to Carl Pei and team Nothing for the launch of the
OnePlus One Nothing Phone One, I hope it will take forward the journey of building a community around a brand, a journey attempted but later abandoned by OnePlus.