An interesting shift is occurring within the tech industry. Many former employees of OnePlus, the once scrappy underdog that took the phone industry by storm, are joining Nothing ahead of the launch of its second phone, the Nothing Phone 2.
A Renewed Sense of Purpose
Nothing aims to rekindle the magic that OnePlus once had when it launched the Phone 2 this summer. OnePlus, co-founded by Carl Pei, was praised for its disruptive and innovative approach to the smartphone industry. However, critics argue that OnePlus has lost much of its soul since its inception, becoming more corporate and less disruptive.
Carl Pei, who also co-founded Nothing, left OnePlus in 2020 and is now poised to reinvigorate the phone industry with his new company. As part of this endeavour, Nothing has hired several former high-level OnePlus members who were instrumental in building the OnePlus brand. This recruitment drive is not limited to just marketing but also spans hardware and software engineering.
The Influence of OnePlus on Nothing
Many old OnePlus Employees have Joined Nothing
70% of the software team at Nothing are from OnePlus
Former OnePlus CMO, Kyle Kiang, now works at Nothing
And Now they are gearing up for Nothing Phone (2) Launch pic.twitter.com/gYJ9s3gIKD
— Utsav Techie (@utsavtechie) May 18, 2023
Nothing’s strategic hires have significantly impacted the company’s internal structure. For instance, a source close to the company reveals that 70% of the software team and 30% of the hardware team at Nothing are from OnePlus.
Kyle Kiang’s influence is particularly noteworthy. During his tenure at OnePlus, Kiang set up the company’s first wireless carrier partnership with T-Mobile, which resulted in a staggering 524% year-over-year growth in phone sales in the U.S. by the end of 2021.
Targeting Tech Enthusiasts
Targeting tech enthusiasts, a strategy that Pei and Kiang used successfully at OnePlus, is set to be a focal point of Nothing’s approach with the Phone 2. Tech enthusiasts are typically early adopters and are willing to take a risk on something new and different. Their honest feedback and passionate advocacy make them an effective marketing force.
However, Pei is cautious not to repeat the mistakes that led to OnePlus becoming a shadow of itself. He is committed to taking risks and not catering to the masses. He firmly believes in engaging with tech enthusiasts and designing products that resonate with them.
Addressing Software Shortcomings
The Phone 1, Nothing’s first smartphone, had its share of criticisms, particularly around its software, the Nothing OS. The OS was seen as rushed and lacked the finesse expected from a bespoke operating system. This was primarily due to a lack of engineering manpower, which led to outsourcing the software development. Pei acknowledged these shortcomings and vowed to improve in the future.
To address these issues, Nothing has expanded its software team significantly, recruiting several ex-OnePlus software leads. This team, led by Shawn Liu, Cookie Xu, and Sam Lee, is tasked with designing a distinct Nothing OS. These individuals had a significant role in the development of OxygenOS and various OnePlus features, bringing their expertise to the table.
A Fresh Start
Nothing is probably the new OnePlus :
✅ Lots of old OnePlus employees have joined Nothing.
✅ Former OnePlus CMO, Kyle Kiang is now at Nothing and leading the global launch of Nothing Phone 2.
✅ 70% of Nothing software team are from OnePlus.
— Debayan Roy (Gadgetsdata) (@Gadgetsdata) May 18, 2023
Nothing has strategically hired several key former OnePlus members who were instrumental in building the OnePlus brand. These new hires span a range of roles, from hardware and software engineering to marketing. In a significant move, Kyle Kiang, former OnePlus Chief Marketing Officer, has joined Nothing as Vice President of North America. He is reported to be leading the global launch of Phone 2.
What do you make of this news? Are you looking forward to the release of the Nothing Phone 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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