Carl Pei accuses an unnamed ear (1) competitor of attacking Nothing's supply chain

Carl Pei accuses an unnamed ear (1) competitor of attacking Nothing's supply chain
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei started Nothing last October and the company recently celebrated its first anniversary. Pei wrote a blog post in which he wrote that the goal during the first year was to get the Nothing name out to the public. The company's first product, the $99 ear (1) true wireless earbuds, is selling "like hotcakes" according to Pei.

Nothing received orders for 320,000 units of its ear (1) true wireless earbuds

The executive notes that Nothing had orders for 320,000 ear (1) units and shipped 180,000. The total forecast, Pei says, is that the firm will ship 600,000 units. To put that in context, he points out that the first iPod sold 400,000 units in its first year back in 2002. By 2008, shipments peaked at 54.8 million units. If Carl is thinking that subsequent ear (1) shipments are going to progress along those lines, that's really optimistic thinking since the iPod and the ear (1) really can't be compared to each other.

Pei thanks his Nothing's community, team, and investors. To the latter, he points out that taking a chance and betting on the company was a huge leap of faith, especially considering how secretive the company was with its plans.

But the interesting part of his post came when he was explaining what a difficult task it has been turning Nothing into something. Pei helped put together a 158 member crew from scratch and raised $74 million to get the first product out the door. And he goes on to explain say, "I’m proud we did all this in the midst of a pandemic with large parts of the team unable to collaborate in person, and in the midst of global supply chain disruptions."

But the next sentence is rather shocking. "To add to the fun, we’ve also had a major incumbent attacking us in the supply chain trying to block our access to key components," Pei says. "We should take that as a sign of respect." In other, a major unnamed competitor tried to prevent Nothing from obtaining certain parts necessary to build the ear (1). Now we can only make assumptions and our guess is that this incumbent was concerned because of the device's price.

For $99, the ear (1) includes Active Noise Cancellation, wireless charging, IPX4 water resistance, in-ear detection, and more. These are features that you'll find on the $249 AirPods Pro. This is not to say that Apple is the incumbent firm mentioned by Pei. After all, other companies that sell pricey wireless earbuds include Samsung, Sony, Shure, and AKG.

Pei wrapped up his blog post by writing, "Overall, this year has been a blast. It’s been unbelievably rewarding to watch our vision gradually come to life. Many people think we’re an audio or headphone company, and I think that’s great. We’re like an ice-berg that’s slowly emerging to the surface, and we look forward to unveiling more of our vision in year (2)."

A tipster says that Nothing is working on a smartphone for a release in 2022

The little comment about Nothing being an audio or headphone company sounds to us like Carl is happy that his company is being pigeon-holed into a specific category (audio, headphones). That's because Nothing's next device could be a smartphone according to a tipster named Mukul Sharma. The tipster says that Nothing is working on its first handset which could be released next year.

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And Pei already has made two connections to help Nothing build a phone. It announced that it is partnering with Qualcomm to power future tech products. And in February, Nothing purchased Andy Rubin's Essential company and the brand name. Yes, that is the firm that built the Essential Phone, and most likely the deal was made so that Pei's new company could obtain some phone-related intellectual property it wants.

You really can't bet against Carl Pei. He turned OnePlus into a relevant smartphone brand in a tough industry. And he started a new company from scratch, developed a new product, and shipped it during a pandemic. Furthermore, he had to deal with a competitor that was trying to sink the ear (1) by mucking up Nothing's supply chain. Frankly, we'd be quite interested in seeing what kind of phone Nothing might develop.

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