Farewell to the Bling Phone

As Nokia moves to sell its luxury subsidiary, Vertu, it's time to shed a tear for the dying, gawking-worthy fad -- popular among rappers and Russian oil tycoons alike -- that we call the bling phone. The Financial Times's Daniel Thomas  broke the story of the bling phone labels's demise and explains, "Vertu was created by Nokia in 1998 to tap into a niche market for mobile devices with price tags that rival luxury watches." In the age of the dumbphone, this more or less amounted to gluing a lot of diamonds onto the device and calling it a luxury good. Oh, and charging customers over $300,000 for the gaudy thing. The real growth in the bling phone preceded the introduction of the iPhone, and if Nokia's treatment of Vertu is any guide, other device manufacturers seem more focused on building a device that can compete with Apple's, since that's what rich people seem to be buying these days. Want to make it a bling phone? Buy an expensive case.

So goes the decline of the bling phone. As the iPhone continues to dominate and Android catches up, we sure are going to miss all of the ridiculous press release-worthy partnerships with fancy watch companies not to mention the creative uses of alligator-skin and many different shades of gold. Let's reminisce.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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