Solana Abandons Saga Orders Following Sale of Nonexistent Phones

Solana Labs Apologizes for Overselling Saga Phones

Solana Labs issued an apology for overselling its Saga smartphone, which experienced a surge in demand due to the attractive incentives that surpassed the phone’s intrinsic value.

It has been a tumultuous week for the Solana Saga smartphone, winning the dubious distinction of the “worst phone of the year” from a popular YouTuber. Despite this, the phone experienced a significant increase in sales when buyers discovered that it offered crypto perks exceeding the phone’s price.

However, Solana Labs revealed a major setback as it acknowledged the existence of units sold last week that were, in fact, nonexistent. The company attributed this error to an “inventory management issue,” pointing the finger at an unnamed third-party distributor.

All affected customers have been notified, and the company is committed to issuing refunds in the coming days. Decrypt reached out to Solana Labs to determine the extent of the impact on customers, but as of now, no response has been received.

The Crypto Perks Frenzy

After languishing in the market for months, Saga phones experienced a sudden surge in popularity when consumers realized that purchasing the smartphone entitled them to an airdrop of 30 million BONK, a Solana meme coin.

Despite the fact that the value of BONK was only $11 a few months ago, it had skyrocketed to $865 by last week. This exceeded the Saga’s $599 price tag, resulting in Saga owners claiming airdrops and perks now valued at over $3,000.

  • All 20,000 units of the phone sold out within days, marking a pyrrhic victory for Solana Labs.
  • Despite its success, the Saga received the 2023 “Bust of the Year” Smartphone Award from prominent YouTuber Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee.

“No amount of BONK or [Claynosaurz] could save this phone,” Brownlee tweeted to his millions of followers.

Turning Controversy into Viral Marketing

Solana Labs attempted to turn the potential embarrassment into a tongue-in-cheek viral moment by embracing the “Bust of the Year” designation. The company referred to itself as an “award-winning” phone in subsequent marketing materials.

Going even further, Solana Labs requested Brownlee to ship the “Bust of the Year” trophy to their office. Additionally, the Solana project created a “Saga: Bust of the Year” NFT collection inspired by the award, with nearly $3 million worth of Solana NFTs traded following a free mint on Wednesday.

However, some disgruntled Saga purchasers who had yet to receive their phones were not amused, while others took the opportunity to create memes surrounding the situation.

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