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I think it's more to do with manufacturing and inventory management. With the invitation system they can smooth-out demand and prevent peaks until manufacturing is well underway.

Of course one of the ways in which it smooths demand is to turn people away; I was interested in a Meizu Ubuntu phone until I learned I had to 'compete' for the privilege of giving them my money.

Same with the original OPO, by the time I won an invitation ( after waiting several months ) I had gone and bought an LG G3.

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