Midrange phone brand Nothing is looking to debut in the US, according to company founder Carl Pei, but is facing logistical problems, not to mention competition from major rivals.

In a chat with CNBC (opens in a new tab), Pei says the company is currently in "initial discussions with US carriers..." but didn't name any in particular. Each carrier has a specific software package that they want to add to smartphones, and there's "a lot of additional support" that needs to be done, according to the founder. All of this contributed to Nothing delaying a US release. It is also not known if the phone (1), the only smartphone at the moment, will be launched or if it will be something different. But it won't be the phone (2) because Pei quickly dismissed the idea on Twitter (opens in a new tab). He states that the phone (1) will be the company's main focus as it builds software for the device, according to the post.

Nothing has been successful in America with the Ear(1) headphones. Pei says a third of total sales come from the United States, so there is at least some interest in the company's products. It seems the success gave Nothing the confidence to launch into the Western Hemisphere.

Speculation and competition

Although it is not clear what comes out, we can look at the phone (1) to get an idea of ​​what is possible.

The phone (1) is a pretty decent mid-range device with CNBC comparing it to the iPhone SE in terms of price and specs. Starting at €399, you get a 6.55-inch Full HD OLED display with a tuned (but still a bit old) Snapdragon 778G Plus chipset. The brilliant Glyph interface on the back gives the smartphone a unique look that can be adjusted to receive notifications and calls. However, the battery life leaves a lot to be desired. You can buy an unlocked phone (1) in the US for €489, but it only works with certain carriers.

When it comes to iPhones, Pei says he wants to take on Apple in the mid-range, but it's tough competition. Recent reports - opens in a new tab - show that iOS devices have effectively taken over the United States, with more than half of all smartphones in the country now being iPhones. Attracting iPhone owners to Nothing's Android platform could prove difficult, as Apple customers are not only tied to their iPhones, but also to the deeply integrated App Store (and hosted apps). Nothing that founder Pei thinks will also pose a problem for future projects. He told CNBC that this is "going to put a cap on our growth."

Certainly nothing has its work cut out for it. According to CNBC, the company has faced numerous manufacturing problems ranging from covid restrictions in India hampering production to rejection by Foxconn, "Apple's largest iPhone supplier," to make its devices. We don't ask him anything if he can tell us what he plans to release in the US or at least give us a hint. This story will be updated later if we get any news.

If you're interested in the range of budget devices, be sure to check out TechRadar's recently updated list of budget phones.

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