Pricey Smartphones: 8 You'll Never Own - InformationWeek
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11/10/2015
07:05 AM
Nathan Eddy
Nathan Eddy
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Pricey Smartphones: 8 You’ll Never Own

In the tech world, many of the most expensive items available for purchase are workhorse machines that can deliver WiFi long distance or hold insane amounts of data. While these appliances have a certain style to them, they lack the cachet that powers the most personal of tech devices -- the smartphone.
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(Image: TA2YO4NORI/iStockphoto)

(Image: TA2YO4NORI/iStockphoto)

In the high-end smartphone space, style and design are premium considerations for handset manufacturers, with superlatives like thinnest, lightest, fastest, strongest, and most beautiful being bandied about by pretty much every major player in the market.

While design often comes at a cost, the upper end of the smartphone market takes luxury to a whole new level, often resulting in limited edition handsets that define indulgence.

While Apple remains the premium brand for the masses, there are several smartphone manufacturers -- and companies that embellish existing handsets -- that make an unlocked 128GB iPhone 6S Plus, which retails for an eye-watering $949, seem like a veritable bargain.

[Read Smartphone Use Ballooning to 5 Hours a Day, Study Finds.]

Perhaps it shouldn't come as such a big surprise in this new Gilded Age that these phones exist, or that the people who buy them clearly have more money than they know what to do with, but for us mere mortals, these blinged-out smartphones serve as a potent reminder of how pedestrian our sleek, sophisticated phones really are.

We've assembled a collection of the world's most outrageous and exclusive smartphones here, and while the vast majority of them are out of reach for the average consumer, with the holiday shopping season right around the corner you might just be able to convince your own Rich Uncle Pennybags that you're deserving of such over-the-top luxury.

There's gotta be an app for that ...

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

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kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2015 | 4:56:59 PM
superficial
It's amazing how most of these phones don't offer anything real for the price. Most of the innards aren't a whole lot better than more reasonably priced phones. (Exception being the two lowest priced of the article, the one made for shutterbugs and the apple with 128G.) It's all just superficial fluff. Even when I have the money, I'm far more interested in the function of a device than if it has a logo or has been dipped it 14k gold or something. I wonder what kind of good a charity could do with the differencer between a really good functional smartphone and all that bling?
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2015 | 1:25:16 PM
Re: nah
I agree. Adding gold and diamonds to a smartphone does not make it much more than those currently available. May be if their battery life last a week or the 128 G of memory.  I thought such phones will have some amazing feature only available to the super wealthy.  Can anybody think of any good features for really expensive smartphones?  I would like a phone at if you drop it, it bounces back to your hand or  if you drop it, it  floats in the air.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
11/13/2015 | 6:35:12 AM
Re: nah

@mak63 you are right and thats what I wanted to highlight that these companys are providing the same kind of apps only with different banners. I believe that if I have been at their place and is asked to get some customized smartphone, I bet that I can get a very good deal and at a very affordable price. You can see the same strategy with newly launched smartphone company trying to fight its place with an established giant. What do you say?

nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
11/13/2015 | 6:31:33 AM
Re: nah

@mak63 I was recently in china and was lucky to have taken some risks as you have mentioned and it really paid. I think these smart phone companys are charging because of those brand conciousness. I believe if you are ready to take a risk it will pay you very well. At least thats the case with me and I am happy :)

mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
11/12/2015 | 10:56:59 PM
Re: nah
@nomii The smartphone market is changing for the better. Customers now don't need to spend tons of money to get a high-end phone or subsidies it for a few years. Smartphones are getting better. cheaper and without a contract.
Just yesterday, I was reading about smartphones under $400, that match the specs of some of the phones mentioned in the article. And for those who like to take risks, how about going to one of those Chinese websites and get a beautiful phone for under $100? Believe me. I'm about to do it.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
11/12/2015 | 10:21:49 AM
Re: nah

@mak63 I  agree with you and think that most of the customers have same ideas. In my humble opinion you need to spend a relatively smaller amount on things like phones. Almost a;ll coompanys are providing same kind of apps but charging on their brand names. I think that we need to be very careful in deciding what is essentially required and at what cost. What is your opinion?

nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
11/12/2015 | 10:17:35 AM
Re: Luxury Smartphones

@Brian you are right to an extant but in my opinion money is the first and foremost concern of any buisness. The companys need to concentrate on a market with certain limitations. I think the best remedy is to build a customized version giving customers choice to have what they need to have rather building yourself and going into loss. What is your point of view?

mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
11/11/2015 | 4:20:15 PM
nah
The Samsung and the Lamborghini look pretty neat. But nah. I wouldn't buy any of these phones even with plenty of money to spare. If I spent thousands of dollars on a phone, it'd better have something awesome, like a holographic display or an assistant that can cook or make coffee for me.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2015 | 7:04:59 PM
Luxury Smartphones
Panasonic did a great job by building a phone and pushing the sensory capability of a camera that can fit inside a phone form. It would be nice if other manufacturers were to also build luxury smartphones by pushing the limits of technology. If price is not a concern then, one phone could have the most expensive CPU, or a prototype battery that lasts for two days, etc.
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