by Carlo Longino

Market For Diamond-Encrusted Platinum Phones Bigger Than Expected

Nokia attracted some derision several years back when it announced its Vertu unit, which makes incredibly expensive mobile phones using precious metals, diamonds and the like. Despite the disbelief that people would actually pay tens of thousands of dollars for a cell phone, Vertu's business is growing strongly, thanks to geographic expansion and new models. Vertu's president says it's currently selling tens of thousands of phones each year, and wants to sell hundreds of thousands. The high price tag will make that difficult, but should a luxury phone maker really want to sell that many devices? At what point do Vertu phones lose some of their cachet with their well-heeled clientele because they're too popular -- and will the loss of some feeling of exclusivity push prices down?

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