Nothing’s Phone 1 is not coming to the US

Nothing has confirmed that its debut smartphone, Phone 1, will not get a widespread release in the US or Canada, PCMag reports. Instead, a “limited number” of the devices will be distributed to community investors in the country as part of a “closed beta,” Nothing said in a statement. It added that it hopes to launch a US-backed smartphone in the future.

“While we would love to bring Phone 1 to the entire community around the world, we focus on the domestic markets, including the UK and Europe, where we have strong partnerships with leading local mobile companies,” the company said. PCMag in a statement. “It takes a lot to launch a smartphone, as you know, from ensuring that the handset is supported by the country’s cellular technologies to operator partnerships and local regulation, and since we are still a young brand, we need to be strategic about it.”

PCMag reports that anyone trying to use Nothing’s phone in the US is likely to have “unpredictable” coverage on T-Mobile, no voice over LTE support on AT&T, and no service at all on Verizon.

Rumors that the Phone 1 will not receive a full US release only began to emerge after a limited number of smartphones went on sale on StockX ahead of the device’s official launch on July 12th. The product list came with a disclaimer stating that the phone “is not fully supported in North America. Functionality may be affected depending on your provider, coverage, speed and / or reliability; otherwise it may not work at all.”

The US smartphone market has historically been difficult for new entrants to break into. Phones from popular Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei generally do not get widespread releases in the country, and range of handsets from US operators are dominated by Apple and Samsung. It is perhaps not surprising that a startup like Nothing has had no more success in breaking through.