Some smartphone brands have decided that it’s fun to slowly tease their next devices over the course of many months, but the Nothing Phone (1) could be a case where that backfires. While the new Android phone isn’t expected to debut for several weeks, a new tease has suggested it will be difficult to buy in the US.
Nothing listed your debut smartphone on DropX (opens in new tab)which basically means you can bid on one of the first hundred models made – why you would want to spend hard-earned cash on a smartphone you’ve never seen is totally beyond us (especially when the highest bids are now $1,500 in the US and £1,100 in the UK – far more than the phone is likely to cost).
But hidden in the terms and conditions is this line: “Nothing phone (1) is not fully supported in North America.” You mean the Nothing Phone (1) might not be on sale in the huge US mobile market? Oh okay.
We’ve reached out to Nothing to clarify whether this means the phone won’t be for sale in the US or simply won’t work on certain 5G spectrums like mmWave – but if that’s the case, the disclaimer is incredibly poorly worded.
Nothing wouldn’t exactly be alone in avoiding the US as far as cellphone makers are concerned, as many other Chinese brands including Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo don’t sell their devices there. But since Nothing was founded by the ex-OnePlus co-founder, and given that OnePlus is one of the few Chinese phone success stories in the US, we assume the phone (1) would also be available in the US (if only to rival with OnePlus).
Nothing has provided a long list of operators in different regions, with Optus, Telstra and Vodafone varying the thing in Australia, and Three, EE, O2, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone in the UK, but there’s no mention of the US, again suggesting the next Android phone will not be for sale there.
So if you live in the United States, you might want to remove Nothing Phone (1) from your wish list.
Analysis: Can it harm the phone?
Generally speaking, there are fewer smartphone companies selling devices in the US, and so Nothing would have an easier job of grabbing market share if it could prove to Americans that its phone was worthy.
But if the phone is not sold in the US, there are potential issues based on funding the device. Nada has already gone through a few rounds of investment, receiving money from interested companies and fans to make the Nothing phone and headphones.
If Nothing’s enthusiastic, US-based fans invest money in a tech brand they believe in, only to find they won’t be able to afford the phone, they’ll likely end up very upset.
Also, the disclaimer is hidden in small print, below the large graphic that shows the price someone offered for the phone… in US Dollars. We may see people bidding over the phone, only to realize later that it may not be supported in the US.
Fortunately, the disclaimer is just poorly worded, and the Nothing Phone (1) will go on sale in the US either shortly after launch or at some point later. Because if not, there might be some angry Nothing Phone (1) fans out there who will have to turn to our list of the best Android phones for an alternative.