Port-free Meizu Zero smartphone fails to reach crowdfunding target, CEO calls it a marketing stunt
Facepalm: You may remember how, back in January, Chinese firm Meizu launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for its Zero smartphone—a device that lacked any exterior ports. But its efforts have failed, leading to the company’s CEO revealing that the whole thing was just a marketing stunt.
Not only does the Meizu Zero have no charging port, but it’s also missing a headphone jack, SIM tray, speaker grills, and any physical buttons. The company said the prototype device uses wireless charging and connectivity, has an inbuilt eSIM, and comes with pressure-sensitive virtual buttons along the phone’s edges, much like HTC’s squeeze feature.
Meizu decided to fund production of the phone using crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. It made 100 units available to backers, each costing $1,299, along with a single “Exclusive Pioneering Unit” priced at $2,999.
Despite offering something different from most of today’s flagship phones, the campaign attracted just 29 people, 24 of whom pre-ordered the device. Meizu was looking for $100,000, but the $45,998 it raised wasn’t even half that amount.
On Meizu’s official forum, founder and CEO Jack Wong made a surprising statement: “This crowdfunding project was just the marketing team messing about,” he said. “The holeless phone is just a development project from the R&D department, we never intended to mass-produce this project.”
While the Meizu Zero might have been nothing more than a marketing stunt, the first port/button-free handset could come from Vivo. Its 2019 edition of the Apex concept smartphone also has no ports, though charging and connectivity aren’t wireless; they’re performed using the connector pins on the back.