Everything Amazon Announced Amazon Kindle Scribe Amazon Halo Rise Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Prime Day 2: Oct. 11-12 Asteroid Crash Site Inside Hurricane Ian's Eye Refurb Roombas for $130
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

That Meizu Zero phone with no buttons or ports was just a big tease

It raised less than half its crowdfunding goal, and now the CEO says it was just a research project.

Meizu Zero

Chinese phone-maker Meizu made a big splash when it launched its Zero "True Holeless Phone" on Indiegogo on Jan. 30 with offers of 100 "Engineer Units" for $1,299 each and a single "Pioneer Unit" for $2,999. Now it's marked as a closed campaign showing it reached only $46,000 of the $100,000 goalm and its CEO told fans on Meizu's forum that "We never intended to mass-produce this project."

Translated, his statement reads, "This crowdfunding is carried out by the marketing department. The nonporous mobile phone is only a preresearch project of the development department. We never intended to mass-produce this project." 

That flies in the face of what we were told before the campaign launched -- that it would be a real product that would go on sale -- and the company seeded review units, too.

But floating crowdfunding campaigns as trial balloons to judge interest in a product is a popular marketing tool these days, and the two limited, expensive options with their aggressive April delivery date do lend credence to the idea that the whole thing is still a work in progress.

Meizu didn't immediately respond to a request for clarification.

Now playing: Watch this: The Galaxy S10 is fantastic