The Nothing Phone (2a) is a mid-range smartphone with premium features including a 120 Hz AMOLED display and a camera system that includes optical image stabilization and two 50MP cameras. It also has a stripped-down version of Nothing’s signature feature: LED light “glyphs” on the back of the phone that can be used for custom notifications, among other things.

But while the phone, which launched earlier this month, already has a distinctive look, Nothing is looking to launch a Community Edition model that features design elements inspired by public. The Nothing Community Edition Project is basically a six-month contest that will award winners in four different categories… with the goal of incorporating winning ideas into an actual device.

Before you get your hopes up that Nothing is inviting you to design the phone of your dreams, it’s worth noting that the company isn’t taking ideas for things like additional ports, cameras, or internals (like the processor, memory, or storage).

Instead, the company will run a series of contests, asking contributors to offer ideas for:

  • Hardware design (like custom colors, patterns, or textures for the case)
  • Wallpaper collection
  • Packaging Design
  • Marketing campaigns

Nothing will begin accepting entries for Hardware Design on March 26, and says entries can be in the form of images, videos, or text descriptions. Winners will get a chance to “engage directly” with the Nothing team, and will be invited to London for a launch event when the Nothing Phone (2a) Community Edition is ready to launch.

but the company notes that the finished product might not look exactly like the winning entries, as Nothing still needs to make sure the smartphone is something that can actually be produced, and which still has the look and feel of a Nothing-branded device.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a company look to community members to crowdsource design ideas: that was kind of the whole ethos behind the Eve V tablet… which resulted in a pretty nice bit of hardware, but not necessarily a sustainable company. Eve failed to meet its delivery goals for that tablet and eventually changed its name and shifted its focus to other products.

Nothing’s plans seem a lot less ambitious, and much more achievable. But even so, Nothing founder Carl Pei says the company expects to lose money on this Community Edition device. The goal isn’t so much to make a profit as to engage community members and hopefully come up with some new ideas.

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