Nothing, the company behind the second-gen, see-through, light-up smartphone that’s generated positive user reviews since its debut last month, has announced a new brand called CMF by Nothing. In a quarterly community update video, Nothing’s co-founder and CEO, Carl Pei, explains that CMF by Nothing will be focused on “a new range of products that makes better design more accessible.”
Pei doesn’t outright say that the CMF by Nothing brand will specialize in low-cost hardware, though he does promise to make “good design even more democratic.” Pei also says, “When you look at the value segment within the technology sector, there just isn’t a lot to get excited about. Good quality seems like a false promise.”
CMF by Nothing sounds like it will attempt to flip the narrative—or, at least, it markets itself that way. The inaugural product from the new brand isn’t a smartphone. Instead, it’s a pair of earbuds, which seems plucked from the playbook of when Nothing launched its Ear (1) buds before the debut of the Phone (1). A smartwatch is also due out “later this year.”
Pei didn’t reveal much more but said that more official details would be released in the coming months. We do know that the two brands—Nothing and CMF by Nothing—will share some “common DNA,” like being “design-led” and “user-centric.” However, Pei also took a beat in the video to note that CMF will be “run by a separate team” to maintain disparity.
Also, while Pei didn’t expand on where the name “CMF” comes from, Nothing confirmed that it stands for “color, material, and finish” relating to industrial design.
Pei isn’t new to the budget market. During his tenure at OnePlus, the company started expanding into the economy market with its Nord series, which remains one of our top budget phone picks at under $300.