Nothing, the London-based manufacturer, has just released its latest quarterly Community Update, and it had plenty of news, including the surprise announcement of a new smartphone.
There had been a hint that something was coming, when co-founder Carl Pei posted on X a picture of a flying dinosaur, suggesting something was coming in 2024. Well, you can relax, Pei has not been re-invigorating Jurassic Park. The new product won’t gobble you up if it breaks free.
That dinosaur is called the Aerodactyl and is familiar to Pokémon players. And Aerodactyl is the code name for the next Nothing phone. But if you thought, as many did, that this presaged an earlier-than-expected release of the Nothing Phone (3), it’s not. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s this year as well, though, in which case it will be the first time Nothing has launched two phones in a year.
But this is the Nothing Phone (2a). It’s an intriguing name, and is reminiscent of what Google does, releasing the Pixel 7a after the Pixel 7, for instance.
Nothing says that it learnt from the release of the Phone (2) that “we have different sets of users across our community. Some are super tech-savvy, looking for the latest and greatest specs, while some other users are more focused on the core smartphone functionalities but still eager to experience Nothing’s unique and innovative hardware and software experience… Phone 2(a) is exactly this product.”
Further details are scant, but the update says, “With Phone (2a) we’ve really doubled down on the core user needs—performance, cameras, you name it and it’s also leveraging some of the most loved features of Phone (2) while ensuring it delivers a clear upgrade compared to Phone (1) on every single front.”
That’s interesting. What I take from this is that the new phone will be much more affordable than Phone (2), perhaps priced the same as Phone (1), which came in at a much lower price than Phone (2). All this chimes with Google’s playbook. The interesting thing will be to see how close to Phone (2) it is: sometimes Google’s mid-range Pixels offer almost as much in the way of features as its flagships, but at a much keener price.
There’s no clue as to when this new phone will launch, or what it will look like. All we know is the name. But Nothing is smart enough to have given us a big clue to the phone just from its name.
Nothing also released a couple more details about the brand. Before the end of 2023, Nothing hit the important milestone of shipping 2 million products, and the update reveals that it took a much shorter time to reach that number than it took to get to 1 million, CFO Tim Holbrow announced. Momentum, then.
The company also revealed there would be Glyph developer kits, so app developers can integrate Glyphs into their apps.
Nobody can tease a community better than Carl Pei and Nothing. With the big mobile phone trade show, Mobile World Congress, coming later this month, perhaps we can expect to hear more very shortly.