Nothing is hiking the price of its debut Ear 1 earbuds from $99 to $149, the company’s CEO Carl Pei has announced. Citing “an increase in costs,” Pei said that the new price will come into effect on October 26th. No price changes were announced for Nothing’s more recently-announced Phone 1 smartphone.
In a followup tweet, Pei justified the price increase by noting the amount of development effort that’s gone into the earbuds since their original release last year. “When we started developing it, we only had 3 engineers,” the CEO said. “A year later, we have 185. During this time, the Ear 1 has received 15 firmware and tuning updates, and is a completely different product to when we launched it.”
Inflation has become a significant problem across many of the world’s largest economies this year, and consumer tech has increasingly been caught in the crossfire. As a London-based company, it’s likely that Nothing has also been hit by the pound’s recent slump in value.
It’s an unfortunate price increase given that a lot of the appeal of the Ear 1 was the amount of functionality it offered at a relatively affordable price.