Nothing, the Carl Pei-led brand launched its first smartphone earlier this week. The Nothing Phone (1), as expected, launched after all the hype around the illuminating back panel, a transparent design, and more. The Nothing Phone (1) was launched as a mid-range offering, but a set of fans in the Southern states of India are unhappy with Nothing. Why? Let’s find out.

WHY ARE PEOPLE IN SOUTH INDIA UNHAPPY WITH NOTHING?

Soon after Nothing launched the Nothing Phone (1), a hashtag #DearNothing began trending in India. Now, this was not the smartphone’s reviews, launch, or photos, but the South Indian tech YouTube community criticising Carl Pei’s new company. The hashtag began trending when a tech YouTuber who goes by the username Prasadtechintelugu posted a video on the day of the launch. The video, meant to be a prank, showed a fake Nothing box, with a letter inside it saying, “Dear Prasad, this device is not for South Indian people.”

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Now, while the video was meant to be a way of protesting the lack of review units that Nothing has sent to regional content creators in India. However, as soon as the video surfaced, several people took to Twitter, mistaking the letter as an official communication (given that the YouTube had used a similar font to Nothing’s promotional content) from the brand.

The hashtag #DearNothing began trending on Twitter with hundreds of Indians criticising the newly setup brand, for a fake letter. Things started heating up soon as several people on Twitter accused the London-based company of favouring Hindi creators and not regional ones.

WHAT NOTHING HAS To Say

As the incident came to the brand’s notice, Nothing’s General Manager for India Manu Sharma released a statement explaining how the review units are disbursed and said that “the content creators in question were always a part of the roll out plan post launch.

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The statement, however, focused on the fake letter that has been misunderstood as an official communication from Nothing. In the statement released by Sharma, Nothing says that misinterpretation and misleading claims are “absolutely not acceptable.” Here is the full statement:

“We are overwhelmed by the love and response we have gotten so far. Phone (1) is our first smartphone. We are constantly learning and unlearning as we go along in this journey
We believe in having transparent and respectful dialogues; be it with our community, consumers, partners or media friends. In the light of the recent events, we want to set the record straight:

> For us, content is bucketed across all media verticals like print
online, blogs, broadcast, (not just) Youtube to name a few,
pan India.

> For Nothing Phone (1) we had a plan of sending devices which was
supposed to be rolled out in a phased manner.

> As part of the roll out, many content creators including regional
language journalists, have received the units

This is not just because we are a new brand but this is standard across the industry. The content creators in question were always part of the roll out plan post launch. However, at this point – this is not about the review units. This is regarding the ‘fake’ letter that was pulled out of a ‘fake’ Nothing box without any disclaimer. This has been misunderstood by many as an official communication from us.

As a new brand, our journey will be full of bouquets and brickbats. We know that. But misrepresentation and misleading claims is absolutely not acceptable.

This is just the beginning of our journey and we cannot wait to see Phone (1) in the hands of our entire Indian community in the weeks and months to come.”

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