In a surprisingly candid post on the company’s official forums, Meizu’s CEO Jack Wong has admitted that a recent crowdfunding campaign for the Meizu Zero, the “World’s First Holeless Phone,” was little more than a publicity stunt (via Engadget). “This crowdfunding project was just the marketing team messing about,” the CEO wrote, “the holeless phone is just a development project from the R&D department, we never intended to mass-produce this project.”
Wong’s comments certainly reflect the reality of the IndieGoGo campaign, which gained widespread press attention (including here at The Verge) but nevertheless failed to hit its $100,000 funding goal. Despite using advanced tech to achieve its port-free design (including wireless charging, capacitive touch buttons, eSIM support, and wireless USB data transfer) the phone was equipped with an outdated Snapdragon 845 processor — which was a little hard to justify given its $1,299 asking price.
$1,299 for a phone with last year’s processor
Fortunately, since Meizu set a fixed funding goal for the project rather than the flexible goals used by the majority of IndieGoGo projects, the campaign ended without any backers losing their money. A flexible goal would have allowed Meizu to collect the money regardless of whether they hit their target.
Although Wong claims the phone is just a development project, a semi-functional prototype was discovered at MWC last week by Mashable, although it was somewhat hidden without a proper label at Qualcomm’s booth. Whether this prototype has a future as a commercial device is unclear.