Carl Pei’s Nothing acquires non-functioning Essential brand


  • Andy Rubin’s Essential is now owned by Carl Pei’s new venture Nothing
  • Essential had closed down last year
  • It was said to be working on smart home products

After exiting OnePlus as a co-founder in October last year, Carl Pei announced his new company called ‘Nothing’ last month. The brand will launch a range of smart devices in the first half of this year. However, the product plans widely remain a mystery. 

Also Read: Carl Pei launches new consumer tech venture called “Nothing”, first smart devices coming in H1 2021

Now a report by 9to5Google claims that the Carl Pei helmed Nothing has acquired Essential brand. It found filings with UK’s Intellectual Property Office. Essential was started by the creator of Android, Andy Rubin. The company had shut down in February last year due to poor performance. 

Carl Pei’s Nothing acquires Andy Rubin’s Essential brand

UK Intellectual Property office filing

Andy Rubin’s Essential brand was shut down last year

According to the IP filings, Rubin has signed and transferred ownership of Essential’s brand assets to Carl Pei’s Nothing Technologies Limited. The acquisition was filed last November and the transfer was completed on January 6th, 2021, way ahead before Nothing was officially announced.

The IP transfer includes existing trademarks, logo, and other brand assets of Essential. It is unclear what Carl Pei’s Nothing plans to do with Essential brand. The latter still holds a few patents and it remains to be seen if Nothing’s acquisition will affect it in any way. For now, the IP filing only includes the branding and trademark portfolio. 

Essential only launched one device called the Essential Phone (PH-1) way back in 2017. The company had plans of releasing the PH-2 and Project GEM in 2019 but those didn’t materialise, and the company eventually shut its doors. 9to5Google reports that Essential had been working on a Home smart hub and a speaker running on Ambient OS. 

Nothing taking over Essential doesn’t mean that it may plan to enter the smartphone market, but it does open up possibilities of launching smart devices. The Carl Pei-backed company aims to launch an ecosystem of devices across multiple categories with connected products. Notably, Essential was also going to do the same. 

We can expect Nothing to reveal official information about the acquisition and its upcoming products in the coming weeks. 


Viraj Gawde

Viraj loves being in the creative field. Being a tech guy and resident tech advisor for his friends and family, his interest lies in smartphones, laptops and cameras. Passionate about creating art, his forte lies in photography. In his downtime, he loves gaming on his self-built rig and supporting FC Barcelona.