Phones that go bling

Nokia are betting they can create a super-luxury mobile phone brand. It’s called Vertu. £15,000 buys you a pretty ordinary GSM phone (called an ‘instrument’) in a hand-tooled platinum, white gold or silver enclosure. They’re borrowing explicitly from the vocabulary of hand made mechanical watches and they come with a one-button concierge service for helpless billionaires.

I guess it’s logical to expect this kind of luxury segment to emerge as the market matures, in fact, Frank Nuovo, Nokia’s California-based head of design, tells the FT (subscription) that they’re now designing phones “…for six separate product categories: Premium at the top; Fashion (“stylishly provocative and creatively trend-conscious”); Classic; Expression; Active (“healthy active sports and leisure”); and Basic. He believes these categories will grow more diverse”.

Moore’s law doesn’t apply in the world of timepieces, though, so unless the Vertu ‘intruments’ can be upgraded continually into the future it’s hard to see them becoming heirlooms. The Vertu is more LA bling than Zurich swank. It’ll fit in nicely on the dash of that Escalade you’ve been thinking about.