Nothing Phone 3 to Launch Next Year as CEO Carl Pei Focuses on Personalised AI

Nothing Phone 3 might not arrive till next year as the company focuses on building dynamic and personalised AI experiences that will be integrated within the devices, CEO Carl Pei said on Wednesday. This comes just days after the company made a post on social media which appeared to be a teaser for the successor to last year’s Nothing Phone 2, but could also be for the rumoured CMF Phone 1. The company also shared a short demo of how an integrated AI chatbot would function on future Nothing smartphones.

Nothing Phone 3 could be delayed to next year

In a video posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), Pei highlighted that Nothing is throwing its hat “into the consumer AI race,” implying the company will be joining the ranks of Samsung, Google, and Oppo to build in-house AI features for its devices. During the video, he also added, “Expect to see some of these features starting to come out with the Phone 3 next year.”

The phrasing is slightly confusing as it can be understood as either Phone 3 will be launched next year or that these features will first arrive on the Phone 3 next year. This was the sole mention of Phone 3 in the entire 5-minute-long video. However, based on the emphasis given on AI and creating an AI-integrated experience, it is likely that the smartphone will arrive with these features out-of-the-box.

Nothing teases AI companion

Highlighting that “smartphones will remain the main consumer AI form factor for the foreseeable future,” Pei said the company has been designing and prototyping AI interactions for the last two months. He also said getting the integration of hardware and AI right is important to create useful features, and shared a short demo of what Nothing has built so far.

In the video, Nothing claims that it is designing an AI that will be functional across the device. Calling it the AI companion, the smartphone maker showcased that the AI appears right at the onboarding screen of the phone and asks several questions to the user.

Nothing says these answers will help personalise the AI based on the user’s needs. A new home screen interface was also shown with multiple square widget-like boxes displaying dynamic and contextual information. This is also being curated by the AI, as per the company.

Pei also said that building fun experiences for smartphones is limited by apps not sharing data with other apps, and claimed that the future of phones is a “post-app world”. This was also teased in the demo. In one home screen layout, the AI companion occupied the bottom half of the screen and widgets occupied the top half. Nothing said it is finding ways to add proactive-like capabilities to the AI, which could be accessed through the home screen, lock screen, glyph interface, and even via its earphones.

Based on the video, it appears Nothing might be trying to integrate an on-device AI chatbot which could be powered by an in-house small language model (SLM). While serving as a virtual assistant, it could get additional AI capabilities such as real-time verbal responses, access to customise and change the home screen layout, and receive information from third-party apps to manage more tasks across the device. However, this is just our speculation and we will find out the AI companion’s features once Nothing makes an official announcement.

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