The Nothing phone-1 Highlights How Broken the American Smartphone Market Is

Omar Zahran
6 min readJun 28, 2022

Carl Pei’s new company is skipping launching their new phone in the United States, a showcase of just how problematic the smartphone market has become

If you spend any time monitoring the tech news cycle, then you are familiar with Nothing and its upcoming phone: the Nothing phone-1. This is the new company from OnePlus founder Carl Pei that is focused on shaking up the industry by creating a true ecosystem that will rival Apple’s, with designs and features that excite consumers. In true old OnePlus fashion the company has leaked small pieces of the phone to build up the hype train of the device. A new piece of information that has come to light is that this phone, arguably the most hyped device in tech circles in a while, will not be launching in the United States. This decision is an indictment of the state of the smartphone market in the country, one that has suffocated innovation in favor of appeasing the bottom line of carriers.

The Suffocating Duopoly

Currently, in the United States, Apple and Samsung account for 74% of the mobile market share. This is a suffocating amount of dominance. This is a much different situation compared to a country like China where 5 different manufacturers are fighting to maintain a 20% market share. In this country, it is not iOS versus Android it is iOS vs Samsung. Samsung has done well to position itself as the default Android option, or even as the anti-iPhone.

Apple to its credit has made the iPhone a cultural phenomenon in this country. The iPhone has been looked at as the default smartphone. Advertising and media will often assume that everyone has an iPhone. Media publications focus on iPhone coverage since it is such a dominant force in this market. There are social pressures around the iPhone where many people are rejected for not using Apple’s latest phone. Features such as AirDrop and iMessage have become parts of the American lexicon.

To a smaller extent, Samsung has done a similar social association with the term Galaxy being synonymous with Android phones. This has…

Omar Zahran

Freelance sports writer, check out all my work at