OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei's new company Nothing has acquired smartphone brand Essential that launched its only smartphone in 2017. The Essential brand, founded by Andy Rubin, co-founder of Android, was formally acquired by Carl Pei's Nothing in January, according to a report in 9to5Google. This comes as one of the biggest update yet, about Carl Pei's new venture, after the OnePlus co-founder departed from the BBK Electronics-owned brand late last year.
There is a lot of speculation over the kind of products that will come from Pei's 'Nothing', with recent updates suggesting that the company will introduce an array of wireless earbuds with a wider focus on smart home technology and integration. The latest development comes from a 9to5Google report that cites filings at the UK Intellectual Property Office as showing that Rubin passed signed over the ownership of Essential to Carl Pei's Nothing formally on January 6, 2021. The application for the same was made as early as in November 2020.
This deal means that all existing trademarks, logos, and the entire Essential brand are now the intellectual property of Nothing. It is unclear how this deal affects any of the patents currently held by Essential. The deal has led to speculations about Nothing venturing into the smartphone market.
According to the 9to5Google report, Essential was itself working on its own Home smart hub and speaker that would run the "Ambient OS." The device was originally planned to launch in 2017 but never saw the light of the day.
Nothing has said that it will launch its “first smart devices in the first half of this year.”