Some smartphone brands have decided it's fun to slowly show off their upcoming devices over the course of several months, but Nothing Phone (1) could be a case where that backfires. Although the new Android phone isn't expected to debut for several weeks, a new coincidence has suggested it will be difficult to buy in the US.
Nothing listed its first smartphone on DropX (opens in new tab), which basically means you can bid on one of the first hundred models made – why would you want to spend hard-earned cash on one? smartphone you've never even fully seen is beyond us (especially when the best deals right now are €1 in the US and €500 in the UK – far more than the cost of the telephone).
But hidden in the terms and conditions is this line: "No phones (1) are fully supported in North America." Do you mean that Nothing Phone (1) might not go on sale in the huge US mobile phone market? Oh ok.
We've reached out to Nothing to clarify if that means the phone won't go on sale in the US or just won't work on certain 5G spectrums like mmWave, but if the latter works, then the disclaimer. it is incredibly poorly written.
Nothing would be exactly the only thing the United States would avoid when it comes to cellphone manufacturers, since many other Chinese brands, including Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo, do not sell their devices there. But since Nothing was founded by the former co-founder of OnePlus, and since OnePlus is one of the few Chinese phone success stories in the US, we assumed that the phone (1) would also be available in the US. OnePlus).
Nothing has provided a long list of carriers in different regions, with Optus, Telstra and Vodafone in Australia, and Three, EE, O2, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone in the UK, but there's no mention of the US, again hinting that the next Android phone will not be for sale there.
So if you're based in the US, you might want to check Nothing Phone (1) off your wish list.
Analysis: Could this damage the phone?
Generally speaking, there are fewer smartphone companies selling devices in the US, so Nothing would have an easier time gaining market share if it could prove to Americans that its phone was worth the money.
But if the phone isn't sold in the US, there are potential issues with financing the device. Nothing has already seen some investment, getting money from companies and enthusiastic fans to make the Nothing phone and headphones.
If die-hard US-based fans of Nothing have poured money into a tech brand they believe in, only to find they won't be able to buy the phone, they'll probably end up pretty upset.
Also, the disclaimer is hidden in the fine print, below the large graphic showing the price someone offered for the phone…in US dollars. We may see people bidding on the phone, only to find out later that it may not be compatible in the US.
Let's hope the disclaimer is poorly worded and Nothing Phone (1) goes on sale in the US immediately after launch or some time later. Because if not, there might be some pesky Nothing Phone (1) fans out there who will have to turn to our list of the best Android phones to find an alternative.