It seems we’ve made much ado about Nothing. Literally.
Over the last few weeks, MobileSyrup reporters have covered Carl Pei’s Nothing and its upcoming Phone (1) rather extensively. Turns out it was all for naught — the Phone (1) won’t come to Canada.
“Nothing phone (1) is not fully supported in North America. Functionality may be impacted depending on your carrier, coverage, speed and/or reliability; or it may not function at all.”
The disclaimer then directs to this list of supported carriers, which doesn’t include any from the U.S. or Canada.
Sounds like Nothing is skipping the US with respect to Phone (1) availability and network compatibility. Disappointing, but understandable. Hard for young brands to achieve carrier adoption here, and without those deals, not really worth negotiating retail channels at all…
— Ev (@evleaks) June 21, 2022
PC Mag received confirmation from Nothing about the lack of support, with the company providing the following statement:
“While we’d love to bring phone (1) to the entire community around the world, we’re focusing on home markets, including the UK and Europe, where we have strong partnerships with leading local carriers. It takes a lot to launch a smartphone as you know, from ensuring the handset is supported by the country’s cellular technologies to carrier partnerships and local regulation, and as we’re still a young brand we need to be strategic about it.
“We have big plans to launch a U.S. supported smartphone in the future. For now, a limited number of our private community investors in the U.S. will be able to get their hands on phone (1) through a closed beta program. In the meantime, if readers really want phone (1) to be available in the US as soon as possible, they should call their carrier to let them know about us.”
Moreover, Nothing told PC Mag that people can try and use Phone (1) with U.S. carriers, but it may not work well. Specifically, Nothing said the phone would have “unpredictable” coverage on T-Mobile, no voice-over-4G on AT&T, and no service at all with Verizon. Presumably, coverage with Canadian carriers will be similarly spotty.
Overall, this is a pretty big bummer for Nothing fans looking forward to trying out the company’s new phone. While I remained skeptical about the Phone (1), I was looking forward to following the launch closely and learning more about it.
Now, Nothing did leave the possibility of a U.S. (and, hopefully by extension, Canadian) phone release open for the future. That might be a good thing in the long run. First smartphones are hard to do well, and if Nothing can take what it learns from Phone (1) and then includes North America in the release for its next product — for example, an improved Phone (2) — we might end up with something great. Only time will tell.
For now, Canadians will need to be content with nothing from Nothing.