The Saga phone from Solana Mobile sold out its U.S. preorders yesterday (Dec. 14)—and it wasn’t because of its looks, performance, or security. It was because each phone, once shipped, comes with 30 million $BONK tokens—enough to cover the cost of the phone and more.
The Android phone comes with a 50-megapixel main camera, fingerprint unlocking technology, and crypto-friendly security features like a Seed Vault that protects your private keys—while being able to sign transactions with a fingerprint. To claim a $BONK airdrop, Saga owners will need to download the BONK app from Saga’s custom-built app store.
The timing couldn’t be more fortuitous, with the $BONK price skyrocketing after its listing on Coinbase yesterday. According to CoinMarketCap, the token reached an all-time high of $.00003386 yesterday and is currently priced at $.00002888, a rise of over 130% from last week. With a trading volume of nearly two million dollars in the past 24 hours, $BONK’s current market cap is a bit over $1.75 billion.
What $BONK phone buyers are trying to do is called arbitrage: taking advantage of an inconsistency in price across different markets. They’re hoping that when the phone arrives in their eager hands, they’ll be able to sell the $BONK that comes with it and make their money back, reaping a free phone and a little profit from the deal. There is, of course, always a risk that the price of $BONK will fall due to changes in market conditions.
Buyers may also hope that other token and NFT teams will offer free assets to Saga owners.
“The Solana Phone trade is hilarious,” Accelerate Art cofounder Ben Roy wrote in a post on X. “If the community is smart they’ll meme it into the stratosphere. Bonk team should make sure all phone buyers get paid; then other Sol teams should airdrop to phone wallets too. Making your people money is the best marketing play in the game,” he wrote.
Solana Labs cofounder Anatoly Yakovenko made some hints in this direction in a post on X outlining Solana’s strategy with the Saga.
“The goal with @solanamobile is to crack the App Store duopoly…We hypothesized that a sufficient number of NFT power users might prioritize hot wallet security. Although a small group, a target-rich environment full of NFT power users, could potentially be lucrative enough to encourage developers to create apps, especially in the absence of app fees. Once developers start releasing crypto-incentivized apps to all Saga users, it should kickstart the flywheel,” he wrote.
To ensure broad distribution of the Saga, Solana Mobile announced overnight that it would restrict Saga sales to one per household. At 2 a.m. EST, it announced that the phones have sold out in the U.S. European customers can still order a Saga through Solana Mobile’s website.