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Carl Pei surprises again with his new brand Nothing acquiring the defunct Essential brand

Carl Pei's Nothing acquires the Essential brand founded by Andy Rubin. (Image: Nothing)
Carl Pei's Nothing acquires the Essential brand founded by Andy Rubin. (Image: Nothing)
Carl Pei, the co-founder of OnePlus and now most recently Nothing has made one of the more surprising acquisitions in recent times. It has been revealed that his new venture has picked up parts of what is left of former Android supremo Andy Rubin’s defunct Essential mobile devices company.

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Carl Pei seems to be full of surprise lately. It was only late last year that Pei left OnePlus, the successful start up mobile company that he helped co-found in 2013 when he was only 24. He didn’t waste any time, however, and has already launched his new brand whimsically called Nothing with few details about what he has in the pipeline. Now it has emerged that Nothing has acquired all the existing trademarks, logo and the entire Essential brand in a deal that was completed on January 6 reports 9to5Google.

Essential is of course the company founded by ex-Googler and the father of Android Andy Rubin. The company briefly made a splash with the exciting but flawed Essential Phone PH-1. It was made from high-grade materials including titanium and ceramic, and was one of the first phones to feature a tear-drop front-facing camera notch in its display. However, buggy software at launch and a poor rear camera along with a relatively premium price helped to seal its fate. Essential didn’t launch another device despite showing off some interesting prototypes like Project Gem and hinting at other plans for smart home devices.

We know that Pei’s Nothing will release a range of wireless earbuds while it might also enter the smart home devices market, which aligns with aspects of what Essential had been dabbling in. The Essential acquisition doesn’t, however, seem to relate to the smartphone technologies and patents held by Essential, so it isn’t clear that Nothing could release the Essential Phone PH-2 or PH-3, which were enticing propositions. Naturally, we will be all ears and eyes waiting to see what Carl Pei has planned. While some are already joking that it will be “Nothing Essential”, it’s hard to write Pei off at this early stage.

Buy a rare refurbished Essential Phone PH-1 from Amazon.

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The gorgeous stillborn Essential Phone PH-3 design. (Image: Ken Hoffman)
The gorgeous stillborn Essential Phone PH-3 design. (Image: Ken Hoffman)

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1290 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 02 > Carl Pei surprises again with his new brand Nothing acquiring the defunct Essential brand
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2021-02-16 (Update: 2021-02-16)