Luxury Mobile Operator For The Rich And Famous Downgraded To Be For Just The Modestly Wealthy

from the discount-luxury? dept

We found it a bit amusing last year when a Japanese company decided to open up a "luxury mobile phone service" for the super wealthy. Unlike some others, the goal of Voce wasn't to let people have super expensive, gold- or diamond-encrusted handsets. Instead, it was all about the service. For a $1500 signup fee and $500 per month, you'd get an ordinary Motorola RAZR with unlimited calling and data. They would give you new handsets every so often, but they'd also act as a 24-hour concierge service. Any personal help you needed was yours for the calling. Of course, there are plenty of concierge services out there, and it's not clear why it should ever be associated with a mobile operator. Apparently, the company has discovered that there really isn't a huge market for such things. Having already downgraded the upfront fee to $1,000 and the monthly hit to $400, they're now dropping the prices once again -- this time cutting them in half. It's now $500 to enter, and $200/month. They still insist there's a big market for such things, and plan to try to do a nationwide launch (rather than in just a few select cities) sometime next year -- but the fact that they've had to repeatedly drop their prices so much suggests that people don't really care very much about a mobile operator for the rich and famous. The people who could afford such a thing probably already have all of the concierge service they need -- and without anything in the way of a special phone to offer, it's hard to see the value. On top of that, when you're introducing a luxury brand, rapidly dropping your prices tends to suggest there isn't any real luxury there.


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  •  
    identicon
    dorpus, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 4:46am

    Unless

    There can be a service that grants a US phone number AND a Japanese phone number to the same cell phone, so international travellers don't have to have two phones. Despite the claims made by "international cell phone" services, you only get a number in one country, so other people calling you have to make international phone calls.

     

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      identicon
      Matthew, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 8:40am

      Re: Unless


      Unless by dorpus on Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 4:46am
      There can be a service that grants a US phone number AND a Japanese phone number to the same cell phone, so international travellers don't have to have two phones. Despite the claims made by "international cell phone" services, you only get a number in one country, so other people calling you have to make international phone calls.


      Can't one simply forward calls? It doesn't affect me so I haven't researched too deeply, but it doesn't seem like a huge problem especially with VOIP -- not to mention IPv6.

      http://www.tollfreeforwarding.com/international-call-forwarding.html

      Rates for a USA, California, Los Angeles phone number forwarding to Japan
      Setup Fee:
      $ 0
      Monthly Minimum Fee:
      $ 10
      Japan:
      $ 10 includes 61 minutes of call time per month when calls are forwarded to Japan. Additional call time is 16.5 per minute.

      Japan-mobile:
      $ 10 includes 26 minutes of call time per month when calls are forwarded to Japan-mobile. Additional call time is 39.0 per minute.

      That's not amazing numerically speaking, but why would you need two phones?

       

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  •  
    identicon
    RantMax, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 5:30am

    Who can forget...

    http://www.millionaires24.com/

    The e-mail service for millionaires (dumb enough not to simply get their own domain/server)

     

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  •  
    identicon
    fornowjustcallmeBob, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 6:03am

    Never knew

    http://www.millionaires24.com/

    I guess there is a sucker joining the internets eveyr day, huh? At $399 a MONTH they prolly only need one active user to make their little scam pay for itself and a few lunches....

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Republican Gun, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 7:20am

    Exchange

    I thought millionaires had exchange servers. Who else could afford them.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 9:12am

    RE: Exchange

    MS Partners get Exchange on the cheap too. However if we want to use 2007 we must upgrade all our boxes to 64 bit procs so Dell will end up a happy camper. Maybe then we can start charging for globaly accessible email with unlimited storage (who has more than 4 or 5 gigs of email anyway?)

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Bandito, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 10:45am

    I'd pay $200/month for Unlimited voice/data

    I get hosed here in the great white north. I pay $150/month for 1500 daytime minutes (unlimited evenings/weekends) and $100 for 200mb of data. Screw the concierge service, just give me a $200 package for unlimited voice/data and I'm laughing.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    mmurray, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 1:09pm

    No Data

    After reading the article, the $200 covers unlimited voice and text messaging. Their contract with Cingular won't allow them to have a data services plan. Not such a great deal after all.

    If it came with a Blackberry and Data plan, I'd be awfully interested in the deal.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    jessie, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 2:44pm

    luxury mobile phones

    i was lucky enough to purchase a beautiful handset from the following: http://www.b4utele.com/index.asp?function=DISPLAYCAT&catid=43 none of this concierge rubbish here - just pure beauty.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    jason, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 2:29am

    Exclusive 24k gold plated luxury mobile phones!

    u dont wanna miss out on this one guys, some truly stunning handsets here.
    very classy site too!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Mcgill, Jun 28th, 2007 @ 11:49pm

    Motorolla Cell Phones

    Well the only good thing that kept me connected with motorolla is their concierge services. Otherwise there are local companies which can give my multiple cell phones for $500 having similar features those of motorolla RAZR :D
    Simply, Moto rocks for me ;)

     

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  •  
    identicon
    cabalamat, Feb 8th, 2008 @ 7:09am

    Millionaires24

    Ah yesd, millionaires24.com, the email address that says more about you than cash ever can... specifically, it says "I am a retard with more money than sense".

     

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