Last week, we noted the market success of Nokia's "Vertu" brand of diamond encrusted phones. But in the world of conspicuous consumption, the Vertu phone is now a minnow, while GoldVish is the big vish. The Vertu tops out at around US$20,000 per phone - and that's just below where GoldVish will start when it debuts in September. At the top of the line, GoldVish has a diamond-studded, golden phone for a mere $1.26 million, thus in a much higher "bling" echelon than an Escalade with spinner rims, a gold necklace with your name, or capped teeth. According to GoldVish's research, over 15% of cell phone owners would like a more luxurious phone, and the company is hoping to capture 2% of the $134B global cellphone market. Makes you wonder why Warren Buffet gave his money to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation instead of doing something worthwhile like buying a few of these phones. In similar news, Samsung announced today that it would present special editions of its phones to the royal families of several Middle Eastern countries (now there's some respectable philanthropy.) Samsung teamed with Bang & Olufsen to make a special edition of the Serene model SGH-D820, and the crest and name of the bearer will be laser-etched into the casing. If I were a royal, I don't know if I'd be impressed -- the Serene costs only a paltry 1,000 euros.
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