In a complete turnaround of events, the Solana Saga phone, initially struggling in the market, has become a hot commodity, fueled by a meme coin called BONK. The unexpected surge in demand, driven by the allure of a token airdrop with each phone, has led to both a feverish interest in the sell-out of the device, along with some unexpected problems.
What Is the Solana Saga?
Originally launched as a web3 smartphone project by Solana Labs, the phone runs on Solana’s Mobile Stack (SMS), an open-source toolkit for Android. It enables native Android web3 apps on Solana, featuring wallets like Phantom, Solflare, Ledger, and Squads, along with DeFi apps such as Marinade.finance, Jupiter, and Mango. The device also supports NFT access with apps like Nokiamon, Minty Fresh, and TIEXO.
Despite these features, the Saga faced a lukewarm reception upon its April 2023 release. Tech reviewers, including popular YouTuber MKBHD, labeled it the “Bust of the Year” for 2023, citing its high price and lack of mainstream appeal. Fast forward to the present, and the story couldn’t be more different. The BONK token was part of a 30 million token airdrop for Saga owners, with each phone receiving that quantity.
The dog-based meme token saw an unprecedented surge in value, up 386% in the past month, prompting a sudden uptick in Saga phone sales, with reports suggesting a 10x increase in just a few days.
officially got paid to use my solana phone pic.twitter.com/8d2SZiIgiH
— PattyIce (@patty_fi) December 20, 2023
Bonk Mania Running wild
The BONK mania began when traders recognized the potential value of the token surpassed the cost of the phone itself at $600. With BONK’s price skyrocketing, the Saga phone quickly sold out in the US and Europe. The once-overlooked device became a sought-after item, with buyers eagerly anticipating the airdrop windfall.
The Saga phone’s unexpected popularity, driven by the BONK frenzy, led to a price surge in the meme coin. Buyers, eyeing potential profits, resorted to selling Saga phones on platforms like eBay, with some listings reaching as high as $5,000 – more than eight times the retail cost.
Suffering From Success
However, the euphoria surrounding BONK and the Saga phone was not without its challenges. Solana Labs faced inventory management issues, leading to an overselling problem. The company had to cancel some orders due to an inaccurate representation of available units. Solana Labs acted swiftly, issuing refunds and apologizing for any inconvenience caused.
🚨 Solana Saga Phone orders halted due to an inventory issue!
• Orders have been canceled due to an "inventory management" problem, as per @solana
• Demand for the device surged last week, driven by a $BONK price rise and an arbitrage opportunity involving 30M tokens included pic.twitter.com/DbCxtiYkKW
— CryptoPotato Official (@Crypto_Potato) December 22, 2023
Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko, while acknowledging the unexpected turn of events, remained focused on the positive aspects, emphasizing the potential of the Saga as an “NFT phone.” The company even embraced the “Bust of the Year” designation, turning it into a viral marketing opportunity with NFT collections and trophy requests.
As the BONK-driven craze continues, other Solana-based projects are capitalizing on the Saga ecosystem, announcing additional airdrops and incentives for device users. The speculative secondary market of huge sales on eBay is being fueled by the prospect of these future airdrops, with some Web3 analysts estimating the potential worth of owning a Saga could easily exceed $100,000 over time.
That remains to be seen, much like whether the success of the Saga will inspire other chains to adopt a similar approach and release their own smartphones that reward owners with airdrops. Could this be a lucrative trend to look out for in 2024?
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