You can finally put money toward the Nothing Phone 1 — provided you can join an exclusive club. Nothing has opened pre-order reservations for its first smartphone using an invitation code system. Private community members go first, and will have 48 hours to use their code, place a £20 (roughly $25) non-refundable deposit and secure an order opportunity on July 12th. Everyone else can sign up for a waiting list that will deliver invitations in batches.
If you do go ahead with an order, Nothing will deduct the deposit from the purchase and supply a further £20 credit to use toward either a Phone 1 accessory or Ear 1 earbuds. The company hasn't yet revealed the price of the phone itself. As Nothing warned earlier, the Phone 1 won't officially come to North America outside of a closed beta for a handful of private community investors. The device should work, but won't have full support.
If the pre-order strategy sounds familiar, it should. Nothing founder Carl Pei's former outfit OnePlus used an invitation system for years. The effect may be similar. Invitation-based orders help manage tight supply (by controlling sales and improving demand estimates) while creating a cachet that might spur demand. It's not clear when you'll get to order a Phone 1 on a whim, but don't be surprised if you end up waiting awhile.