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That hole-less phone isn’t coming, was an admitted marketing stunt

The Meizu Zero, which started at $1,299, hit just over $45,998 in funding on Indiegogo after a month-long campaign.

Published onMarch 6, 2019

The back of the Meizu Zero.

Update, March 6, 2019 (11:10 AM ET): The article below has been slightly amended to make the story more clear.

The Meizu Zero, the “world’s first hole-less smartphone,” won’t ship through Indiegogo following a failed crowdfunding campaign.

Meizu announced the Zero earlier in January, with little fanfare. The handset would have been the first, outside of the vivo Apex 2019 concept, to feature no ports or buttons. This meant charging, audio listening, and file transfer would have been achieved wirelessly, while powering the handset on, adjusting the volume, and accessing the home screen would have been done without pressing physical keys.

It was a brave idea, but outside of its uniqueness, the Meizu Zero didn’t seem to offer a compelling purchase incentive. That feeling was obviously shared by consumers, as the phone hit just over $45,998 in funding on Indiegogo after a month-long campaign — only 45 percent of its $100,000 goal.

Meizu 16th hands-on: Impressive sum of parts
Meizu 16th

Though the page doesn’t display how many people backed it, given the $1299 starting price, it can only be around 30 people. An archive of the page shows it had 29 backers on March 1, the day the campaign ended.

However, don’t be too sad for Meizu because it seems this failure was by design. According to Meizu founder and CEO Jack Wong (via Engadget), this was just a big stunt and the company never had any intention of putting out the phone. Here’s a direct quote from Wong:

This crowdfunding project was just the marketing team messing about. The hole-less phone is just a development project from the R&D department, we never intended to mass-produce this project.

Surely, this won’t make those 30-odd people who actually did fund the device too happy.

In other smartphone pre-order news, the Samsung Galaxy S10’s early sales are also said to have been disappointing. Samsung probably shipped a few more than 35 units, though.

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