Former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s company, Nothing, is drumming up hype for its first smartphone launch — the Nothing Phone (1). In a superb demonstration of how to build hype for a phone which isn’t even launching in the US, the company recently announced that customers can purchase passes to queue up and pre-order the phone when it launches.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Pei has used an invite-only purchase model to hype a new phone. The technique is reminiscent of the OnePlus 1 launch back in the day. Nothing has confirmed that you will have to purchase a pass if you want to pre-order the new phone.
The Nothing Phone (1) is set to debut on July 12 and only 100 units will be up for grabs in the first sale. To participate in this sale, you would need to have a pass. Getting the pass isn’t easy for the early birds. You will have to sign up on Nothing’s website and express your interest in the Phone (1) to join the waitlist. People at the top will eventually receive invitations to purchase the pre-order pass against a non-refundable £20 deposit.
After the launch event, Nothing will start accepting pre-orders. Your deposit amount will be deducted from the final price of the phone. Additionally, Nothing promises there’s an “exclusive reward” in store for everyone who purchases a pre-order pass.
Nothing’s strategy was first spotted by tipster Mukul Sharma when the pre-order briefly appeared online on Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce website. Although Flipkart took down the form, screenshots can be seen in the tipster’s tweet below.
The waitlist for the Nothing Phone (1) is filling up fast. Over 6,000 people have already expressed their interest. However, if you prefer holding off a purchase decision until reviews of the device surface, you could do that as well. That said, keep in mind that Carl Pei seems to be targeting the mid-range smartphone segment in south-east Asia with the Nothing Phone (1). Customers in the US are out of luck for now.
What do you think of the Nothing Phone (1) and its pre-order strategy? Tell us in the comments section below.