Hundreds queue up to buy the newly launched Nothing Phone (2a) during #THE100 Drops event at Sharaf DG Deira City Centre in Dubai. Video Credit: Virendra Saklani

Dubai: It was 'all or nothing' for UAE-based super fans of the world's youngest smartphone brand—Nothing—at its exclusive #100 Drops event in Dubai on Wednesday. Known for doing things differently, Nothing organized an exclusive pre-launch event on February 6 for the smartphone's mega fans. Approximately 100 lucky customers could purchase the latest smartphone before its official launch on March 8, and according to brand officials, the phone sold out in a record 22 minutes.

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Nothing broke its record in Dubai, where last year, 100 units of the Phone (2) smartphone were sold out in 25 minutes.

Hundreds gathered outside SharafDG at Dubai's Deira City Centre to get their hands on Phone (2a). Some enthusiasts arrived nearly six hours in advance, patiently waiting in line before the official launch event that commenced at 6 p.m. After several hours of waiting, during which the excitement was palpable, fans were finally able to buy 100 units of the phone. Three lucky customers even won the phone after an on-site social media competition.

In love with ‘Nothing’

Take Emirati national entrepreneur Faisal Buafra for example. He has purchased every smartphone from Nothing since its launch two years ago. After a six-hour-long wait, Buafra purchased two handsets of Nothing (2a). He said, “I have been buying Nothing phones since the beginning, and I also have devices from Nothing’s sub-brand CMF. I am a super fan of the brand.”

He added, “I love the phone’s design and its performance. The user experience is more youthful and fun, and the technology used in the phone is a combination of everything I look for in a smartphone.”

Buafra intended to buy only one phone on Tuesday. “However, if I am lucky, I will get more and get my family to upgrade their phones as well.”

Like Buafra, several other smartphone fans thronged outside the electronics retailer for a chance to snag the exclusive deal. The bundle deal included the smartphone, CMF Buds, and a 65w CMF Adaptor. “It is a great deal for a phone with such good performance,” said another super fan.

Hungarian-Palestinian national Muszab Abdulghani, who was visiting from Kuwait, was at the event with his Moroccan friend Elmhdi Braik – a Sharjah-based University student. Abdulghani, a freelancer, said this is the first time he has bought a Nothing device. He stated, “The design is unique, and I like the branding and fashion of the phone. I heard about this event on Instagram, and I really wanted to be a part of it,” he said. Braik, who uses another phone brand, stated, “I want to move to the Android ecosystem to enjoy more flexibility.”

Carlos Barrantes, a Philippines national and chef, said, “I, too, heard about this event on social media and wanted to buy it. I intend to give it to my father as a gift.”

‘Making tech fun again’

As far as the brand is concerned, a top Nothing official said, ‘We are delivering on our promise to make tech fun again.’ Rishi Kishor Gupta, Regional Director for Middle East and Africa at Nothing, told Gulf News, “That’s our vision. And we’ve enjoyed quite a bit of success in making technology fun again. The excitement is palpable. Not just for us but for everyone in consumer media, influencers… You can see the excitement in the long queue that forms outside.”

He added, “This event has allowed our fans to experience the device two days before its official launch on March 8. We have also given these customers a special Dubai edition phone case.”

Commenting on breaking sales records, Gupta said, “When we launched Phone (2), we sold out in 25 minutes. And that was a flagship product priced at Dh2,799. The event was at Dubai Mall. We had 350 people waiting outside, and it was sold out in 25 minutes. We have broken the UAE record this year by selling out the Phone (2a) in 22 minutes.”

The latest edition of the phone includes a unique processor, a 50 MP dual rear camera, an extra bright, flexible AMOLED display, and an intuitive OS that delivers a fast and smooth experience with every interaction.

“This year is about accelerating our progress, and Phone (2a) is our first big step forward. Phone (2a) will enable more people to experience the Nothing innovations that many have come to love, and we’re confident it will become our best-selling product ever,” said Carl Pei, CEO and Co-founder of Nothing.