We’re at an interesting time at former OnePlus CEO Carl Pei’s career. After launch his company called Nothing and confirming that a pair of TWS earbuds will be his first product, Pei reportedly makes a big move by acquiring Essential brand and its assets.
9to5Google found filings with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office, revealing that CEO Andy Rubin transferred the ownership of Essential’s assets to Nothing. The filing was made last November and was completed on January 6, and assets involved are Essential’s existing trademarks, logo, and the brand itself.
Why is Nothing’s acquisition of Essential’s assets interesting
The acquisition is noteworthy as it brings in the possibility that Essential might return and introduce new products. We last heard from Essential in 2019, where it showcased Project GEM and its unusually tall form factor.
To recall, Project GEM is a smartphone that looks like a TV remote that has all screen in the front and boasts a heavily-customized version of Android that makes use of tiles and widgets. Rubin is the co-founder of Android, so it is no surprise that he could reimagine the mobile OS in a different light. Other design features include a punch-hole display, single rear camera, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and colors that change hues.
Project GEM was shut down three months later that later led to the shutdown of Essential in February 2020. Prior to that, Essential had the Essential Phone PH-1 in 2017, along with Newton Mail in 2019.
Given Pei’s experience with smartphones during his OnePlus days, it would be very intriguing to see how Nothing will utilize the assets of Essential for its upcoming products. Maybe aside from aIoT products, Pei might come up with a new smartphone that will disrupt the competition in the near future.
Does that mean Project GEM might actually see the light of day? This we have to wait and see, as Pei has a lot of interesting ideas for Nothing.