The smartphone market has, for years now, been dominated by Samsung, Apple, and a mix of a handful of other major brands. That’s led to startups usually competing for a sliver of the market, and often turning the page on their original fanbase after reaching a bigger market. This week, two startup Android brands, Nothing and OSOM, both pulled some controversial moves – are you still interested in either of them?
Nothing Phone (1) is not coming to the US
After departing OnePlus, Carl Pei quickly got to work on the startup, Nothing. The company quickly released a pair of well-reviewed earbuds, but everyone expected a smartphone at some point or another.
Over the past few months, that’s exactly what Nothing has been hyping up, of course using Carl Pei’s signature marketing tactics – even bringing back the invite system. Inevitably, it built a lot of excitement about the device, despite not knowing much about what it would bring to the table. And it worked, there’s been a ton of excitement surrounding the device from enthusiasts.
But then, Nothing confirmed that the Phone (1) is not coming to the United States at launch. While that’s certainly in the company’s best interest, it’s still something that changed the story.
For months, fans in the US, and publications in the US have been talking about this device, thinking it would be coming to the US market. If Nothing had said this up front, or even hinted at it, the reaction would have been much different. But really, it came out of nowhere. Of course, there’s a Nothing Phone (1) coming to the US at a later time, supposedly, but it still really took away from an otherwise exciting device.
OSOM OV1 is dead, for a crypto phone…
Certainly the bigger of the two moves here came from OSOM.
The company, founded and staffed by the team behind Essential, seemed incredibly promising at first. The design of the device was much like the original PH-1, offering a refind look that was simple, but nice to look at. And the device was built around a central goal – privacy.
Between the track record of the folks behind it and everything we had seen to date, it was a smartphone that, personally, I was really looking forward to.
Now, it’s a crypto phone.
Yesterday OSOM announced a partnership with Solana, a Web3 company and blockchain platform. The partnership was first thought to be OSOM building a smartphone for Solana, but turned out to be the OSOM OV1 being replaced by the “Solana Saga.”
It’s hard not to feel like this was not a bait and switch, building up hype for months on a device that was focused on a smaller market, those with a privacy focus, only to throw that away unexpectedly for something entirely different.
Are you still interested in either of these devices?
My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined.
It’s a feeling that’s been thrown around a lot since both of these announcements, and it’s understandable. Both OSOM and Nothing, whether intentionally or not, played on hype only to make some massive change later on. While one is certainly a harder pill to swallow than the other, it’s tough not to feel a sense of betrayal.
How do you feel about it? Drop a comment below!
On a related note, can we take a second to remember that both Nothing and OSOM have ties to Essential?
OSOM, of course, was quite literally made up of the team that made the Essential Phone what it was, the same people who provided the epic update support and design of that under-loved device. Nothing, meanwhile, purchased the Essential name, even though it never ended up using it.
Almost makes you wonder if it’s not a coincidence at all…
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