Nothing Phone 1 Price – How Low Can Pei Afford To Go?

Will the Nothing Phone 1 do what OnePlus initially did and undercut the entire market, or will the Nothing Phone 1 price be more in line with Google’s Pixel 6 and Apple’s iPhone 13? Let’s investigate…

The Nothing Phone 1 is currently being talked about A LOT online, in forums, and inside posts on tech sites and blogs. People want to know about its specs, how much it will cost, and whether it will be able to compete with established phones like the Galaxy S21 and Pixel 6 Pro?

First-generation phones are ALWAYS tricky. No one ever hits the ground with 100% confidence, and most new brands simply fail. Hello, Essential Phone. There are always issues and foibles, mistakes that are – usually, although not always – fixed on the second-generation model. But this isn’t always the case: it took Google several generations to hit its stride with its Pixel phones.

Nothing Phone 1 Price

The main question surrounding the Nothing Phone 1, however, is how much it will cost when it launches later this year. Because Pei is running the company, and the company’s first products, a pair of wireless earbuds, were very affordable, many believe the Nothing Phone 1 will follow a similar track.

But how cheap will the Nothing Phone 1 actually be? Will it cost less than $500 or retail for something closer to Apple’s iPhone 13 – in and around the $699 mark? It really is impossible to say; I’m hoping for a $499.99 phone with killer specs. But given the way things now work, I don’t even know if this is achievable…

Whatever happens, though, I suspect if Nothing retails the phone as a flagship it is going to turn A LOT of people off buying one. The over-arching expectation with the Nothing Phone 1 is that it will be cheap – like the OG OnePlus was. And if it isn’t, well… this could create something of a backlash online, the place where Nothing will be doing the lion’s share of its “viral” marketing.

Undercutting rivals is a tried-and-tested way for brands to gain a foothold in a market and generate interest and sales. It also reduces the risk for people who are buying into an unknown company. And every newcomer has increased its phones’ prices over the years once it established itself.

So it only makes sense for Nothing to take this same price-conscious approach — unless it wants to go the way of the Red Hydrogen One and Amazon Fire Phone and be a one-hit-wonder. Even Essential, with all the hype and excitement, stumbled with the $700 Essential Phone. Admittedly, the phone wasn’t terribly priced for 2017, but it received a $200 price cut in the months after launch nonetheless. Nothing shouldn’t take that risk.

Android Authority

How Much Do Phones Cost To Make? Spoiler: A LOT of MONEY…

Price is always difficult to pin down. If you’re making complicated things like phones, your costs are always massive. You have plenty of overhead to consider, from staff, like engineers and designers, to paying for the actual components the phone uses and physically making them.

You also have to factor in things like the global chip shortage, inflation, and components – things like screens, CPUs, and camera modules – costing more money than they did a few years ago. It ALL adds up. Making phones is not a cheap business.

But some brands do a lot better than others, with respect to price. Apple makes huge margins on its iPhones, for instance, while Xiaomi makes just 5% on each unit sold – this is the price it pays for retailing its phones at such low price points.

The downside of Xiaomi’s phone model versus Apple’s is that it has to sell A LOT more phones to make similar amounts of revenue, all things being equal. But there is an upside, and it relates to what’s known as “playing the long game”, whereby the price drives mass adoption of your product. This is what Xiaomi has been diligently doing for the last several years.

RealMe and VIVO use this approach too. These companies take the hit up front, right in the profit margins, and run their entire operation on razer-thin margins with a view to gaining enough traction and brand appeal so that they can pivot and start A) charging more, B) launching additional, more expensive products, or C) create enough market share to sell-out to a larger company for a massive exit fee.

Nothing is based in London and was founded by Carl Pei. The company has secured over $144 in funding and now has over 300 staff, including ex-Dyson Head of Design, Adam Bates.

But even then, the risks are massive. Nothing does not appear to be messing, though. Pei has hired Dyson’s ex-head of design, he will have not come cheap, either, and it has a team of engineers, developers, and sales and marketing people – that’s a big ol’ pile of overhead right there.

Having raised $144M, built a team of over 300 people and secured support from trusted partners like Qualcomm Technologies, Inc, we are ready for phone (1) to mark the start of change for the sleepy smartphone market. We are also doing a new $10M round of community investment, so that our supporters get the chance to be part of our journey going head to head against the giants of the industry.

Carl Pei

The company has secured plenty of investment, apparently close to $150 million, but it still has to deliver with its product, the Nothing Phone 1. And in order to do this, it will need to make the phone aggressively affordable, unique-looking, and pack it with enough specs to compete with the big boys in the space.

And that’s a BIG ask, especially given the circumstances facing tech companies right now. I do genuinely think that if Nothing can really nail the price of the Nothing Phone 1, make it really affordable without cutting too many corners, it could have a successful phone on its hands.

How affordable? I’d argue that Nothing will have to retail the phone for $599 in order to capture any kind of meaningful share of the market. But even then, that might be too much – especially if the vast majority of people interested in this phone are expecting something closer to $399 or less…

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Keep Reading