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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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.
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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