Nothing, the consumer tech brand started by OnePlus alum Carl Pei, is expanding into more product categories after tasting success with phones and audio gear. In a video detailing the company’s latest Community Quarterly Update, CEO Pei said a smartwatch and a pair of budget earbuds are coming later this year. The company is creating an entirely new division called CMF by Nothing, tasked with making its first smartwatch and budget-centric earbuds. Pei says CMF by Nothing will focus on products that offer a “clean and timeless design” without being “excessively priced.”
The sub-brand aims to deliver “a new range of products that make better design more accessible.” He adds that the new division will operate separately with no interference from the core Nothing team, which is going to keep its focus locked on premium products. The strategy mirrors that of OnePlus, which also makes budget-centric devices such as phones, smartphones, and earbuds under the Nord brand. Pei hasn’t shared exactly what the upcoming products will look like or offer but has promised more details in the coming months.
Nothing is following OnePlus’ lead
Nothing is already riding high on the success of its relatively slim product portfolio. Earlier this year, the company finally made its highly anticipated debut in the U.S. market with the Nothing Phone (2). It’s the first Nothing product that gets as close to the top echelons of the Android smartphone experience after sticking to the mid-range formula with the Phone (1). Aside from phones, Nothing currently sells two wireless earbuds, the Ear (2) and the Ear Sticks, both of which stand out courtesy of their signature transparent design and offer premium audio-centric features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) starting at $149.
As alluring as that sound, that asking price is competitive in the Western markets only, and that too, not overwhelmingly. But in Asian markets, Nothing competes with local brands that offer similar perks for half the asking price of Nothing’s current slate of audio wearables. That said, it seems CMF by Nothing wants to bridge that price gulf to a certain extent, while also sticking close to its biggest strength — a standout design. It would be interesting to see what compromises the sub-brand makes to stay competitive in the smartwatch and audio wearable segment.