Turns Out There Really Is A Market For Insanely Expensive, Diamond-Encrusted Mobile Phones

from the i'll-pass,-thanks dept

I'll admit that I was skeptical upon hearing of Nokia's idea a few years ago to start up a small subsidiary, called Vertu, that would cater to "splurging millionaires" offering diamond-encrusted phones for $20,000. The folks at Vertu claimed it was no different than buying a super high end watch. While some of the prices came down (as low as $4,000 in some cases), some people also noticed that for your additional thousands of dollars, you actually got a much less technically advanced phone. Yes, it might have some diamonds, but it might also already be technologically obsolete. Of course, it turns out that splurging millionaires don't really care about being on the cutting edge. They do, however, seem to care about buying diamond-encrusted phones. A couple years ago, we noted that the phones were doing well in Asia, and the latest report is that Vertu simply can't keep up with the "high" demand for their offering. Of course, not being able to meet demand doesn't always mean there's a huge demand. It could simply mean that the company is pretty weak on the supply side (gotta keep buying those diamonds). However, the company does indicate that it has "tens of thousands" of customers, but not "hundreds of thousands."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Donald Duck, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 1:15am

    Diamond Encrusted Cell Phone Makes Sense

    Just not in Columbus, Ohio around a certain running back. But I can see Paris or some famous woman with a diamond phone. Who wouldn't want to give a woman that? Does this also come with a diamond BILL every month? LOL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Xcetron, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 1:22am

    I sure wouldnt want to get those stolen.

    Its great to know that there are still people on this planet with exceptional money management skill.

    ^sarcasm.

    Lets make some gold plated home theater sets with diamonds for buttons and the thing is also laced with platinum.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Dom, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 1:23am

    Just like watches

    The comparison to watches is quite apt. Those diamond incrusted ones will just tell the time, and often it doesn't even do that very well. Whereas my watch tells me the time, my heartrate, and can give me averages over various workouts and all that. Cost a minute fraction of what a diamond encrusted one would cost, for much much more function.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 2:21am

    For the Chinese

    Hong Kongers have an obsession with gold, making a point of wearing gold watches and chains, carrying gold cell phones, wearing shoes with gold buckles. Some imitation of the style occurs among mainland Chinese also. Some cultures in Southeast Asia and the Middle East also have a gold fetish.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Really kick to your head..., Aug 18th, 2006 @ 4:23am

    Please... like you wouldn't....

    Some of you guys seem to forget....there are people in this world with money to burn!!! They don't care.
    And yes, I asure you a lot of them already donate a chunk of it to charity, and still have enough to buy that $100,000.00 watch, or that $1 million Ferrari Enzo.

    So what... Grow up and just let people be with their money. Are they hurting you in any way?

    I know...If you had all that money, you will still be driving that 2003 Honda Accord, or working out of that 5 year old computer with a CRT screen.

    Right.... :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 5:41am

    Re: Please... like you wouldn't....

    I'm not so sure about that. Chances are most of the people that are getting these diamond phones were born into ungodly amounts of money. They've never experienced having to hold on to money and spend wisely. I'll admit that if I hit it big time I'd splurge a little bit but I know two things for sure:

    1. I'd get all my other monetary affairs (debt) in order first before anything else.

    2. If I did splurge on something it sure as shooting would not be something as relatively small and easy to lose/get stolen as a cell phone with diamonds on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 5:58am

    Whos cares. All of you are just jealous of my Blinged up phone! Now I can continue to bother you by answering it while eating at a resturant AND blind your asses!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 6:04am

    They have created a new industry

    In two years, the phone will be completely obselete, and someone will need to extract the diamonds from it. Hence, we now need a "diamond tech recycling" companies.

    I volunteer to start, I'll even pay shipping for all diamond encrusted cells.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    VPR, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 6:19am

    Nothing says "rob me" more than a diamond phone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 6:30am

    Every self respecting Pimp should have one of these.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 6:33am

    Re:

    Every self-respecting pimp has already gone out and gotten the "bling stickers" and pretended to have a shiny phone.

    What, you think pimps had real jewelry? forget it, its all fake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Tyshaun, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 6:50am

    if you got it...

    Hey, if you got it, flaunt it. I'm sure whoever is dropping 20 grand for a cell phone doesn't have too many money worries.

    As fr the functionality thing, I've been in some super high end cars and a lot of them didn't have all the "gadgets" I thought they would. The geek set (us) loves lots of functionality, the money set just wants it to work and look expensive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Patrick, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 6:53am

    Not like a fine watch

    are you kidding me. A fine watch can be passed down from generation to generation and still keep time. I have cell phones from 4 years ago that have no value. this is an absurd concept for so many reason.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 7:22am

    Re: if you got it...

    thats only in high end sports cars. look at the newer rolls royces and you'll see a pretty high amount of built in gadgets

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 7:41am

    Even if I had Bill Gates money, I can't see myself buying a diamond cell phone.

    First of all, what the hell is up with guys and diamonds these days. Queer eye seems to have convinced otherwise hetero men to dress up like chicks. You're diamonds don't make you look cool, it makes you look gay. Enough with the guys playing barbie dress up already.

    Second, there is always something better for my $20,000 than a cell phone. If I found myself with $20,000 I just had to waste, I'd give it to a bum, or buy another motorcycle, or just pay off some random persons credit card bill, whatever.

    It's not an heirloom piece, it's not getting passed on to my kids kids, it's a friggin cellphone. It will be obsolete in 1 month, and probably useless in 1 year.

    Explain to me again why I'd want to diamond encrust the tech equivalent of toilet paper?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Lay Person, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 7:59am

    Re: #1

    Who cares about diamond phones. If people want to buy it, lose it, get it stolen. Who cares it's all subjective preference.

    It's true though about the queers...not that there's anything wrong with it but why are heteros now concerned about shaving their body parts?

    I don't know about anyone else but where I grew up, men shaved nothing but their faces. Alot of men in the U.S. are turning into metro/homo sexual types. Either that or they've always been queer and are just now opening the closet door.

    In any case, why are homos trying to turn heteros into homos?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Lay Person, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 8:01am

    #16 to #15 not #1

    Sorry, this crap is hard to keep track of...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Nate K, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 8:04am

    Umm, off topic, but shaving things other than your face is just being considerate for your partner, .. well that is if you like recieving certain things. ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    O.H!, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 8:29am

    Nate. they won't understand. The only reason they're arguing here is that thye have nothing better to do. Less understand each other's need and desires.

    Haha. I sound SOOO gay!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Aug 18th, 2006 @ 8:33am

    Whatever

    They can do what they want with their money. I do what I want with mine and you do that with yours. Except for the taxes taken out. Sure most of the things I spend my money on aren't that exciting, but they are necessary.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: #1

    This is so off topic but I cannot resist.


    Alot of men in the U.S. are turning into metro/homo sexual types.


    Simple. It's trendy to be gay or appear to be gay. And frankly some guys do it to get close to girls.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Lay Person, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re: #1

    Oh great.

    So do you mean to tell me that girls like gays? I know gays don't like girls because of competition but some still have sex with girls because some gay guys see themselves as uncontrollable sexual beings...

    In any event that means that some girls are having sex with possible gay guys. These same girls may have sex with real hetero guys.

    One of these hetero guys may be myself. This concerns me that I may get aids from hetero women.

    I think I will become a lesbian...it's just safer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Mike S., Aug 18th, 2006 @ 9:09am

    Re:


    Lets make some gold plated home theater sets with diamonds for buttons and the thing is also laced with platinum.

    Ooh.. even better! How but just some gold plated wires and connectors for stupid people who claim they can "really hear the difference" -- We could make millions on that and the buyers would think they were actually getting something useful!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re:

    "Ooh.. even better! How but just some gold plated wires and connectors..."

    Sorry, that business model is copyrighted. Your discussion of this matter in a public forum has just violated the rights of the copyright holder. He will be by to break your kneecaps shortly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 10:58am

    Re: Just like watches

    THAT MAY BE TRUE, BUT WOULD YOU WEAR THAT KIND OF WATCH TO A EXCLUSIVE GATHERING/ PARTY? I ENJOY EXPENSIVE WATCHES. A TYPE OF WATCH TELLS WHAT TYPE OF MAN YOU ARE. IF GIVEN THE MONEY WOULD YOU BUY A MERCEDES BENZ OR A YUGO? BOTH DO THE SAME, RIGHT?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re:

    lol, even better, lets encrust diamonds into the cables themselves, make up some wild accusation that it 'boosts signals and clarity by up to 700%' and when people complain that the sharp diamond edges are cutting up the wires/furniture, we'll state that it's a product feature for old people who lost their cats

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Borrid Horribleson, Aug 18th, 2006 @ 1:01pm

    Diamonds

    Diamonds, eh?

    We exploit the poor in Africa and devastate the environment to get them out of the ground and for what?

    They have extremely important uses in medical and scientific equipment in general.

    But hey thank goodness for 'the market'. Instead we can flog them off for people to have to make their damn phones look pretty.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    J-bone, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 9:44am

    Send some of them to Iraq

    Halliburton would probably be interested in a few of those!

    Put it on the Iraqi's bill.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Kozel, Apr 29th, 2007 @ 2:27am

    I bought one

    I live in a tent on 12th and Broadway and saved enough to purshase the bling bling cell phone.

    Let me tell you, I get much more tail in my tent than I used to when I owned a bling bling dog....


    I highly recomendo to geto this phono with bling blango !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This