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There is no cellphone more anticipated this year than the next generation of the Apple iPhone. But for some high rollers, the ultimate iPhone is a diamond-encrusted version from London jeweler Amosu. At 20,000 pounds ($39,600), the creation ranks among the world's most expensive phones.
Even a $40,000 iPhone seems tame compared with the 8800 Arte from Austrian designer Peter Aloisson. The luxury Nokia (nyse: NOK - news - people ) phone is posh to begin with, featuring designer ringtones and wallpapers and an 18-karat white gold finish. Encased in more than 680 pink and white brilliant-cut diamonds--sparing only the screen and slide-out keyboard--the embellished phone is a marvel. And, at 85,000 euros ($134,000), it's also the price of a college education.
In Pictures: 10 Lust-Inspiring Phones
These super high-end cellphones are a fascinating anomaly within the cellphone industry. While handset makers like Nokia, Samsung and Motorola (nyse: MOT - news - people ) churn out millions of $40 phones for developing markets such as China, Russia and India (see "Cellphones Your Wallet Will Love"), smaller firms like Amosu and Peter Aloisson focus on serving a much smaller population at the other end of the market.
It's a trend that shows no signs of halting. Fashion firms and automakers continue to show interest on the designer side. Last week, Christian Dior (other-otc: CHDRF.PK - news - people ) unveiled a $5,000 phone that resembles a sleek cosmetic compact. Watchmaker Tag Heuer is coming out with a $6,000 phone with a crocodile leather back. Porsche (other-otc: PSEPF.PK - news - people ) and Lamborghini have phones. Ferrari collaborated with Vertu, a U.K.-based luxury phone manufacturer owned by Nokia, on a special-edition phone last year.
Luxury firms say the steady march of cellphones across the globe is further expanding the market by popularizing the notion of luxury phones. "Mobile phones are becoming more and more an object of desire for people," says Alberto Torres, president of Vertu.
So what does a multi-thousand-dollar phone have that a $100 or $200 phone lacks? In the case of Vertu, whose phones range from $4,000 to $300,000, the difference begins with materials. Its handsets are crafted using scratch-proof sapphire glass screens, titanium frames, ruby bearings (for minimal wear and tear), fine leather and, in some models, gold and platinum.
Design inspirations are similarly highbrow. The brand's "Signature" line features details from jewelry and watchmaking. Its "Ascent" line is based on luxury automobiles and incorporates carbon fiber and rubber. (Torres uses a red Ascent handset.) Vertu's newest phones, the "Constellation" line, are meant to evoke images of classical aviation.
Then there is the painstaking construction. Though Vertu phones incorporate Nokia technology, they are developed and manufactured separately. Some models have more than 500 mechanical pieces, all assembled by hand in Europe. Torres compares the process to that of other luxury goods, such as cars, watches and handbags.
The phones are manufactured with longevity in mind, both in terms of tough construction and classic design. Vertu tests some phones by running a car over them. The goal, says Torres, is to make the phones functional for 20 years, even if users are likely to swap phones long before then.
The combination has attracted high-profile fans, such as former Ferrari Chief Executive Jean Todt, Beyoncé, Gwyneth Palt
Hi, I purchased this phone to make a trip to Australia, a market where all phones are unlocked and only a sim-card is needed to enable access to the mobile phone network. I felt this approach would be more economic for me than experiencing the vagaries of "international roaming" with my U.S. carrier. On arrival at Sydney airport I went to one of the local mobile carriers only to find out that the "unlocked" phone I had purchased on eBay was in fact not "unlocked" and it could not accept the Australian sim-card. Needless to say, I was very disappointed and I had no other choice but to purchase a simple phone that would support the local sim-card.
Overall, this experience has proved expensive and very disappointing since I ended up purchasing two phones (one on eBay and the other in Sydney) in order to have a mobile phone service during my two week visit to Australia. While there I tried to get the phone unlocked but I did not find a service that could accomplish this. So, in conclusion, this experience has proved to be unsatisfactory.
Maybe its because its seller refurbished and I used it on Straight Talks service (probably ATT's prepaid towers) that I had such a bad experience but I will still tell of my problems whilst using it with Straight Talk. Signal cuts A LOT, god forbid it has 'location finder' on for even a second the service cuts, takes pix on its own, VERY stubborn to charge (doesn't like car chargers for some reason) and just last night it wasn't even taking a charge from home charger. I've only had this damned thing for a couple days and its already consumed 760 megabytes of cellular data. This thing is as bad as an Android when it comes to battery and data consumption!
I will NEVER by an UNLOCKED PHONE! I LOVE the iPhone. please don't get me wrong. (I could never use the phone! I didn't know this BUT if you ever try to upgrade the IOS or connect it to iTunes, it will RE-UNLOCK your phone! I would have done this however there was no "UNlock software" for the most current release!!!!! and Apple would NOT support an UNLOCKED PHONE!
I got no help from eBay OR the guy that sold it to me!!!
bought the NewPhone 74205 three weeks ago and was immediately impressed with the number of features available on this inexpensive phone. It has a 1M-pixel camera, video camera, and speakerphone. The NewPhone's size is perfect for carrying in a pocket and the battery has a pretty good lifespan of roughly 4 hours. My only complaint is that the menu system on the phone makes you click four times before you can find someone
First of all, the tactile screen is not an original of Apple.
Secondly, the screen border is not properly fixed to the backcover.
Finally, in my opinion the product was not worth the asking price. When I left an overall rating the seller's reaction was netagive, arrogant and insulting.
I bought this phone because of the good reputation of Apple products. Unfortunately, since upgrading the software to iOS5 my phone no longer works and on advice from Apple it appears that it is not a genuine Apple product.Now in dispute
Rating 0 on my experience
I bought an Apple iphone 3GS White (32) (AT & T) 21 January 2011. and was immediately impressed by the number of features available on this inexpensive phone. He 3M-megapixel camera, video camera, and speakerphone. Size Apple iphone 3GS White (32) (AT & T) is ideal for carrying in your pocket and the battery has a pretty good life of about 4 hours. My only complaint, unfortunately so far I have not received my phone, so nothing good to say I can not!
kind of ridiculous if you ask me. the android has over 65% of the apps apple has, FOR FREE. had nothing but issues with this phone. iphone is kind of lame EXPENSIVE way to waste money. if i were you, i'd invest in the android market where you DONT HAVE TO BE IN WIFI to use the camera. who honestly would use that? get the evo i pay 80 bucks a month for unlimited EVERYTHING. at and t users pay 45 bucks ALONE for the internet. common. get real. you're wasting money. android is better.