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Carl Pei accuses 'major' company of 'attacking' Nothing's supply chain

The OnePlus co-founder was light on details, but this is still a bold thing to say publicly.

Published onOctober 29, 2021

The Nothing Ear 1 lies on a concrete surface with the earbuds in the open case.
  • Carl Pei — co-founder of OnePlus and co-founder/CEO of Nothing — penned a public blog post today.
  • In the post, he commends his team for reaching some sales milestones.
  • However, Pei also accuses a “major incumbent” of directly “attacking” his company through supply chain manipulation.

Earlier this year, Carl Pei’s new post-OnePlus company released its first product: the Ear 1 true wireless earbuds. Today, Pei published a public blog post touting some major milestones of that product.

In the post, Pei congratulates the team at Nothing for helping secure over 320,000 orders of the Ear 1 earbuds. Although only 180,000 of those orders have shipped, Pei is confident the rest will come soon. He also says the goal is to push 600,000 orders and compares that (pretty brazenly) to the 400,000 orders of the original iPod.

See also: We talk with Carl Pei about the boring tech industry

Ultimately, this is only marginally interesting. However, Pei also heavily suggests that one of the reasons Nothing hasn’t been able to meet order demand is because of industry sabotage. Check out this quote:

To add to the fun, we’ve also had a major incumbent attacking us in the supply chain trying to block our access to key components. We should take that as a sign of respect.

This brief accusation isn’t backed up with any evidence. Pei also doesn’t give any indication as to who this “major incumbent” might be. Still, any prominent tech company accusing other companies of “attacking” them is unusual. These are things CEOs don’t usually talk about.

This development is also interesting since Nothing is such a new company. Why would a “major” player care about a company selling a few hundred thousand earbuds? Is this unnamed company worried about what Pei could build with Nothing? There are lots of questions here.

Regardless, a little tech industry drama is always fun.