What you need to know
- Carl Pei launched his own company, Nothing, after splitting off from OnePlus.
- It now appears to have acquired Andy Rubin's Essential brand.
- Essential went defunct in early 2020 after a failure to launch.
Essential, the now-defunct company previously owned by Andy Rubin, has now been picked up by Carl Pei's new Nothing Technologies. Essential shut down almost exactly a year ago after delivering the Essential Phone to mixed critical reception but poor commercial reception.
9to5Google found recent filings at the UK Intellectual Property Office showing that former Android founder Andy Rubin has signed over ownership of his one-time smartphone entrant Essential to Carl Pei's Nothing Technologies Limited. This process was completed as of January 6, 2021, with the application actually being made as early as November 11, 2020.
9to5Google speculates that Nothing could be entering the smartphone market, but that seems unlikely (in the near future) given the company's focus on smart home devices and Essential's underwhelming performance. Essential largely exists as a brand and nothing more. Though, Essential's closing message could offer a hint as to the reason behind this brand partnership.
Our vision was to invent a mobile computing paradigm that more seamlessly integrated with people's lifestyle needs. Despite our best efforts, we've now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers.
Could Nothing be the something that Essential was looking for?
Nothing's mission is to remove barriers between people and technology to create a seamless digital future. We believe that the best technology is beautiful, yet natural and intuitive to use. When sufficiently advanced, it should fade into the background and feel like nothing.
When looking at these two statements in parallel, there's a remote chance that therecould be something there (no pun intended, this time). Nothing's saying that its first products will arrive before the summer, so it'll be interesting to see what sort of smart home products the company comes up with. After all, as Essential found out, lofty-sounding mission statements mean nothing if you can't convince customers to pick up your products.