11 May 2021
Carl Pei's newest venture Nothing has been a mystery so far and with every new announcement or report, we end up with more questions than answers. The same has happened with the latest 9to5Google report which reveals that the Nothing brand is now the owner of Essential, a consumer electronics brand known for its one and only smartphone PH-1.
The report cites a filing with the UK Intellectual Property Office that confirms the transfer of ownership. It seems like the filing was submitted as early as November 2020 and Nothing became the owner of Essential on January 6th, 2021. It is towards the end of that month when Pei officially announced "Nothing" as the name of its new tech startup.
Essential was originally founded by Andy Rubin who is also the Android creator. The company's catalog includes only one smartphone but it had a number of products in the pipeline before it was shut down abruptly. It was working on a successor called PH-2 as well as a candy bar smartphone with extremely narrow width and elongated size.
The company also had plans to release a smart home speaker and a smart home platform of some sort. This aspect of Essential falls in line with what Pei has revealed about Nothing's future plans. He also wants to create an ecosystem of smart products that can communicate with each other seamlessly. He will be starting out by releasing a pair of truly wireless earphones and then expand to other smart home devices.
It is confirmed that Nothing now owns all the trademarks, logos, and branding of Essential but what it plans to do with all that is unknown. Another thing that is unknown is whether the deal also covers Essential's patents. We will have to be patient and wait for further details to become public which should happen either through official means or unofficial ones.