Nothing brand now owns smartphone company Essential — is this the return of the 'Candy Bar' phone?

Essential Candy Bar Smartphone
(Image credit: Essential)

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei's Nothing smart device brand has just acquired smartphone company Essential, and all signs are pointing toward the release of a brand-new device. Warning: it could look bizarre.

Seen at the UK Intellectual Property Office (via 9to5Google), owner of the short-lived smartphone brand Essential and founder of Android Andy Rubin had signed over ownership of the brand to Pei’s Nothing earlier in January 2021. This means everything from Essential is now owned by, erm, Nothing, and the smartphone company had some very interesting ideas when it came to unique form factors. 

Essential has only released one smartphone known as the PH-1, however, it gave users a sneak peek at 'Project GEM', a tall, narrow, candy bar-like smartphone that was canceled only three months after its tease.

Pei's London-based start-up seems to be all about something new, with the brand's announcement statement literally being "We rethought everything and came up with #Nothing." It seems likely that Nothing now owning Essential means getting access to patents for unique form factors, although Essential had also been working on smart devices, too.

Pei did mention Nothing's aim of making smart devices in multiple categories, all to create an ecosystem possibly in the same vein as Apple's. Currently, the brand is working to bring out wireless earbuds as its first products, but it also plans on releasing an array of products throughout the year, according to Bloomberg.

On Nothing's main website, it set up community funding for people to become a shareholder and to gain exclusive access to its forums and benefits.

If it is a new smartphone form factor that's on the horizon, it will first have to compete with the very best smartphones of 2021. Step into the ring, Nothing...

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.