More bling for your ring with solid gold phone

Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:46pm EDT
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By Nastassia Astrasheuskaya

MOSCOW (Reuters) - It doesn't do email, the internet, have a camera, games or GPS navigation, but a new mobile phone from Denmark is literally solid gold.

Danish retailer Aesir said it hopes to sell its $57,400, limited-edition 18-carat gold phones to Moscow's fashion-forward elite. The phone, which took three years to develop, is "not a play thing," company founder Thomas Jensen said, sipping a gin and tonic on the roof top of one of Moscow's premier hotels.

It features no extra applications: No email, games, camera or GPS navigation, but its target clients are the ultra-wealthy, who have staff to manage their calendars and chauffeur them around town.

"It's a collector's item. People are used to collecting, say, watches, while designer phones is a practically empty niche," Jensen told Reuters.

The firm says it will design a new phone every 18 months and produce no more than 5,000 of its classic model, sold for 42,000 euros in gold and 7,250 euros ($9,867) in stainless steel.

"Moscow is becoming a booming contemporary art city. At first people here had only money but now they have style. Their spending is more intellectual and sophisticated," said Mathias Rajani, Aesir's chief commercial officer.

Several of Denmark's richest families, including the owners of toymaker Lego, invested in the developing the blocky, streamline phones, designed by Yeves Behar.

Luxury market analysts see Aesir's designs as an alternative to high-end, gem-encrusted mobiles by Nokia's British mobile subsidiary Vertu, costing from $6,500 to $72,500.   Continued...

<p>Mathias Rajani, Danish luxury product company Aesir's chief commercial officer, holds a model of his company's new mobile phone during a press presentation in Moscow September 5, 2011. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin</p>