Carl Pei’s new company Nothing still has, well, nothing to show for itself, though the constant (and frankly quite annoying) drip of marketing in the lead up to its first product’s launch has just spat out a new tidbit. Nothing’s first product will be an active noise-canceling earbud called the Ear (1), set to cost $99 after it’s launched on July 27th.
Pei confirmed to TechCrunch in a recent interview that the Ear (1) price would be numerically the same across a handful of currencies and markets — $99 in the US, 99 eurobucks in the EU, and 99 kilos in the UK. He claims the feature set and performance will put it in the same category as the much more expensive $249 AirPods Pro, but if there’s one language Pei speaks, it’s marketing. Prior OnePlus earbuds made under his stewardship at OnePlus had odd issues, and Bluetooth audio products can be surprisingly hard to do well. In short: I wouldn’t take any claims at face value until reviews land.
The relative mystery behind Nothing’s acquisition of Essential was also revealed: The company wanted the name, first and foremost:
“Before we were called Nothing, ‘Essential’ was one of the names we were brainstorming, internally, so that’s why we’ve acquired the trademark. We don’t have any plans to do anything with Essential.”
In the interview, Pei also praised his company’s “higher purpose” compared to other electronics vendors — apparently teasing products for months and extracting every iota of news coverage with a standalone announcement for every single detail (including announcements of future announcements) with nothing to show for it speaks to a higher moral calling than your average electronics accessory company.
On that note, we can look forward to a product announcement on July 27th, and part of the reason for the later reveal apparently comes down to the product’s design: The transparent case Nothing has teased has meant redesigning the inside of the earbud to be more attractive. Let’s just hope that case doesn’t end up loaded with earwax or oil when it’s jammed in your ear, or Nothing’s extra work will all be for… nothing.
And Carl: This is the last we’ll be covering of these obnoxious announcements until your company actually releases a damn product.