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.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In