Nokia Wins Big on Luxe Phones

Decked-out cell phones seen as status symbol for mega-rich
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2007 4:25 PM CST
Paul Lim, Vertu's assistant sales manager display the world's most expensive mobile phones in Singapore 13 August 2004. Despite their hefty price and relatively limited functions, sleek handcrafted phones...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Nokia is enjoying increasing success with its Vertu subsidiary, a maker of luxury cellphones, as a super expensive phone becomes a status symbol for the mega-rich. Der Spiegel reports that Vertu phones, which come diamond- or gold-encrusted, make the iPhone look absolutely pedestrian with a price range from $6,500 to $72,500. Sales of the deluxe handsets are up 120% this year.

That’s on top of a 140% rise last year based on sales growth in Russia, China, and the Middle East, as emerging market moguls embrace the high life. And developing countries are not alone: 2007 sales in the US are up 200%. "From what we've seen, the creation of a multibillion-dollar market in luxury phones over the next few years is very possible," says Vertu's president.