Nothing ‘betting on the future’ by calling on its community to redesign Nothing Phone 2a

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Nothing phones are known for their distinctive style, but a new collaboration project could take this idea into new and previously uncharted territory. Nothing has called upon its community of fans and customers to design an alternate version of its recent Nothing Phone 2a. The project will eventually lead to one final design to be manufactured and sold to the public.

Fans will have the chance to shape the phone’s color, materials, wallpapers, packaging, and even its marketing campaign. The Community Edition Project was announced on 20 March on the Nothing website, posted to X, and, in true Nothing fashion, broadcast the project in an accompanying YouTube video.

The project is divided into four design elements: hardware, wallpapers, packaging, and marketing, with four contests being held over successive months, starting March 26. A winning design will be selected in each category to be used for the final version of the Nothing Phone 2a Community Edition.  

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How do I get involved?

Submissions for the contest will open on 26 March, and it’s open to anyone. Entrants can submit a video, sketch, render, or even a written description of their Nothing Phone 2a design. However, Nothing suggests that entrants should have “strong ideas” and try to inject some personality into their designs to catch the eye of the judges. It’s also recommended that entrants include information about themselves in the submission.

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The website for submissions isn’t yet live, but you can request to be notified when the contest goes live on the Nothing website, under the Nothing Phone 2a Community Edition section.

Once the submission date for a specific stage closes, members of the Nothing community will vote on their favorite designs for each element after the closing date. Winners will be selected by a judging panel of Nothing’s designers and experts, and will be announced on nothing.community. At the end of the project, the winners will then be invited to the Nothing Phone 2a Community Edition launch in London, which has yet to be announced. 

Community Edition Project breakdown  

The first stage will be the hardware design, which could include suggestions for new colors that would be a welcome addition to the limited black, white, and Milk (off-white) colorways that Nothing’s phones are currently available in. Entrants might also propose using a different material for the phone’s body, which is currently lightweight polycarbonate plastic, potentially resulting in a very different-looking phone.

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Nothing doesn’t appear to be planning to make any changes to the internal components, so changing the chipset or camera model is likely off the table. Not changing the internals of the phone makes sense, as it would make it a completely different phone and could wreck Phone 2a’s balance of affordability and functionality, which is one of its strongest features. 

Stage 2 of the project, which covers wallpapers, will be held during May. From June, community members will be invited to submit new packaging designs, which ideally should tie together the ideas from the winning design and wallpaper concepts. 

Lastly, stage 4 – marketing – will be held during July, and once a submission is selected for a marketing campaign the winner will work closely with Nothing’s branding and creative teams to further refine their idea.

The above-mentioned YouTube video explains why Nothing started the project, with CEO Carl Pei saying, “We are doing this because we’re betting on the future.” However, he acknowledges that this will be an expensive endeavor, saying, “it’s not going to make a profit for sure.” He also notes that it will be hard work for the design, engineering, and manufacturing teams, as Nothing hasn’t attempted a project this large and complicated before.

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Nothing’s Community Manager, Rob Godwin, went into further detail, highlighting the community’s enthusiasm for design. He included a mock-up of a community member’s design for a Nothing phone, which he said illustrates the talent of the company’s fans. He also says the winning submission may not be exactly like the final design, as the winners will be working with the design team to further develop it to ensure that it’s distinctive while still looking recognizably like a Nothing phone. 

The Nothing community page is filled with creative concept designs for products like Nothing laptops and portable speakers, so we’d expect an enthusiastic response to this project, potentially resulting in a unique and striking Nothing Phone 2a. 

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