The smartphone market isn’t an easy place to survive. Over the years, there have been many casualties as competition has been intense, consumers have been demanding and the technological landscape changing by the year. What it takes to be a real success in the market is determined by a lot of factors. Carl Pei’s Nothing have bold plans to flip the template on its head — at least as far as design is concerned. While design will take Nothing to a certain point — generate curiosity, get people talking — it has to deliver what matters the most: a phone that customers will actually buy.
Pei has been quite vocal about how the smartphone industry has been “stagnant” and needed someone to stir things up. Easier said than done, though. As Navkendar Singh, associate vice president, IDC India “there is always an opportunity for a new brand to make its mark.” But the last two years have been anything but normal. Singh feels that design will always “attract” and create a lot of hype — something Nothing has done remarkably well. But it will take more than that as the category Phone (1) will operate in is extremely competitive. In the Rs 25,000-Rs 40,000 segment, Singh believes that “camera and performance remain most important, and Nothing has to deliver on these 2 critical factors to make any impact in this segment.”
Once you go beyond the design and the hype — which prospective customers will — Phone (1) has to deliver on other parameters. Singh says that for Nothing “to convert a consumer or make them choose Nothing over other brands, it has to go beyond the brand and deliver on features which matter – camera, performance, battery, etc.”
On paper, Phone (1) looks impressive and the design is certainly “bold and refreshing”, according to Singh. But the competition is really intense. The challenge Nothing will face — and many others have — is that the options are far too many and even the established names like Samsung, Vivo have taken a while to establish themselves in the segment. “Almost all big brands in India play in this with moderate success. Be it Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus, Samsung,” explains Singh.
However, Singh believes that Nothing may follow the OnePlys may. “It may try to attract consumers who preferred new refreshing products launched by One Plus with similar product marketing and feature set.” Pei, with OnePlus, had quite a bit of success but it came backed by a behemoth called BBK Group. Nothing is the new kid on the block that is attempting to take on the big boys. Phone (1) and Pei have so far talked the talk quite well but will they walk the walk? Nothing is certain about that