Nothing sees itself as a credible alternative to the iPhone. Akis Evangelidis, co-founder of the brand, gives us his thoughts on the subject, but also on the future of the Nothing brand and the launch of its future ecosystem.
We spoke with Akis Evangelidis co-founder of Nothing behind the very good Nothing Phone (1) and the Nothing Ear (2). The brand is playing the challengers on the smartphone market a few weeks before the release of its Nothing Phone (2). After only two years of existence, it has created great expectations around its products. With Avnier’s cap on his head, the brand’s marketing manager told us about his vision of the smartphone market in the years to come. Not without a certain pessimism about the future domination of Apple and iOS.
Other product categories Nothing under three to five years
It’s no secret that the founders of Nothing have great admiration for the iPhone. Carl Pei and Akis Evangelidis both worked at OnePlus, a brand that has never hidden its inspiration. But, there is one point on which they disagree. Nothing wants to eventually create an open ecosystem based on Android.
“At the beginning, we did not realize what it required, in particular on the software part”throws smiling Akis Evangelidis in perfect English. “The next three to five years are looking pretty good in terms of expanding into new product categories. We are therefore much more confident about bringing the famous ecosystem of products that we have been talking about since the beginning of the project. » The Nothing Phone (2) will also insist much more on the software part where the Nothing Phone (1) has especially made people talk about it with its original design.
50% of Nothing Phone buyers in Japan come from the iPhone
During the interview, Akis Evangelidis told us that Nothing saw itself as a relevant alternative for iOS: “We are one of the Android brands with the highest percentage of iOS users. For example, in Japan, 50% of Phone buyers (1) come from an iPhone. It’s crazy, no one has ever seen these numbers. Even the Android team tells us that they are surprised and very happy to see this. »
Should we read here the reason for Nothing’s adventure across the Atlantic, where the iPhone is far more dominant than in Europe? The first reason, very down to earth, is that a third of Nothing’s headphones were sold in the USA. So they think they have a organic traction to fetch. But a more fundamental, almost philosophical reason for the old fight between iOS and Android may be to be found.
It’s going to be interesting to be honest. It’s pretty crazy how everything evolved so quickly. When you look at the data, 87% of the Gen Z audience is now on iOS. Last year, iOS surpassed 50% users worldwide. It is a problem. There are fewer and fewer alternatives to the iPhone. And I think we are the most likely to eventually become the alternative.
“It’s time for a new brand to arrive”
We all see it, the temptation to bite into the apple is always stronger. But for Akis Evangelidis, it goes even further than that. “I think that if nothing changes, in 10 years Android will be in a very complicated situation. Maybe even in five years. Because now, Apple is gaining market share in India, historically very attached to Android, Apple dominates in the USA… It’s time for a new brand to arrive. »
We want to say, why would it be different for Nothing than for all its competitors? Akis Evangelidis’ answer is certainly long, but full of lessons on his group’s strategy. Here are some interesting passages to remember from his speech.
The problem today is that everyone is doing the same thing by betting everything on the “value for money” strategy, but what happens every time is that everyone has completely reduced their margins and that’s why no one except Samsung and Apple is doing well in Europe.
The whole dynamic of the European market is very oldschool. The operators for example, particularly in France, they have not understood what is happening in the market, the fact that the brands are not able to subsidize contracts up to 200 euros per smartphone for example, the brands of smartphones no longer have that money. They don’t want Apple and Samsung to become some kind of industry duopoly, and at the same time, they’re doing everything to make it happen.
And so all of these brands have built their identities on the idea of value for money, but the problem is that anyone can come in and lower the prices even further. So you don’t want to do that. For us, bringing a premium design side to our products certainly requires more research and development costs, it requires us to be located in London, at the epicenter of European talent that allows us to offer a very unique product. . We hope people will like it for that and therefore be willing to pay a little bit more.
So, will Nothing become the savior of Android against Apple, or will it ultimately embody a simple brand that stands out for its design and great ambition? One thing is certain, to start building all this, we must already release the Nothing Phone (2). See you on July 11, 2023.
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