Nothing, the upstart tech brand with a cult following has just launched a budget version of its much-hyped Nothing Phone (2), the Nothing (2a) in India. 

With 2.7 million sales and more than half a billion dollars in revenue since its launch, according to its CEO, the London-based brand is positioning itself as a cheap alternative to Apple and Samsung for smartphone-wary consumers with its latest cut-price model.


Nothing launches latest smartphone 

The first Nothing Phone (1) was released in 2022 to great fanfare as its makers made the unusual promise of creating a phone that would offer customers an escape from the growing specter of screen time that increasingly captures users.

Nothing is building a smartphone line that encourages users be more mindful of their screen time. In other words, it’s a phone built for tech-savvy buyers hoping to optimize their time.

It launched the Nothing (2) last year building upon the hype of its first product launch.  “We’re not trying to be Apple 2023. We’re trying to be the Apple of the 1980s,” Nothing CEO Carl Pei told Forbes last year.

Nothing’s strategy has caught the attention of both customers and investors. In addition to its half a billion in sales, Nothing managed to raise $96 million for U.S. expansion last year. 

For its third iteration, the Nothing (2a), the group says it is doubling down on the more popular elements of its Nothing (2) while offering a cheaper alternative to its predecessor’s £499 ($USD) price tag.

Nothing lifts the lid on plastic cut-price phone

During an awkward presentation, in which co-founder Akis Evangelidis stumbled over the pricing of the phone as he tried to market it in three different currencies—U.K. pounds, Euros, and Indian rupees—the group unveiled its sleek new smartphone.


It should be obvious from its £319 ($ USD) starting price that Nothing’s modus operandi is simplicity at every stage of the user experience, something that filters through to its design. 

At the latest launch for the Nothing 2(a) event, designers credited Massimo Vignelli, the creator of a simplified iteration of the New York Subway map in the 1970s, as their inspiration for taking complex features of a classic smartphone and breaking them down. 

The latest phone is built from recycled plastic and metals, offering a less sleek alternative to the Nothing (2)’s glass and metal exterior. 

Its camera sits unusually in the middle of the top of the phone, rather than to the side like its older models and traditional smartphones. 

Like with the Nothing Phone (2), the group uses Android’s operating system, Android 14, in its latest model. 


Nothing boss betting on India

Nothing’s CEO Carl Pei has built a reputation as a tech influencer as much as a boss, helping him get on the good side of the traditionally culty tech sector with videos that look like third-party reviews that publicize Nothing’s products.  

Last year, Pei even managed to recruit long-running YouTube superstar Casey Neistat to post an in-depth review of last year’s Nothing 2 that involved Pei and Neistat taking the phone on a literal rollercoaster ride.


He will be hoping that recognition can help him take on a Steve Jobs-type cult of personality that could pull curious shoppers to the brand.

Indeed, the group’s choice of India for its launch is likely a sign of its hopes that the cut-price Nothing (2a) model can encroach on Apple’s growing market share in the country. 

The smartphone will begin at a price of £319 for its entry-level 128-gigabyte storage model. A pricier model with 265GB model will be available to U.S. buyers for $349 through a sign-up form on Nothing’s website.

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