So Nokia is looking for a buyer for its super luxury Vertu brand. I wish it luck. These incredibly expensive bejewelled blowers¹, ranging from a budget £5,000 to an affordable £20,000, are pure bling stuffed with soon-to-be-outlclassed electronics. There is even a Vertu smartphone. Smart phone it may be, but smart buy it is not.
I can understand that people are prepared to pay over the odds for an exquisite mechanical watch from Patek Philippe or Breguet when a plastic Casio can tell the time just as well. I can even accept paying £1,500 for a quartz version of Omega’s iconic Seamaster. The movement, while no watch-maker’s masterpiece, will continue to work for many years without putting the owner at a disadvantage.
Not so, however, with mobile phones where technology leaps ahead every few months. What is the point of a £20,000 tarted up Nokia when it will be trailing forlornly in performance and facilities within a year? Would you pay £20k for a diamond-encrusted 4S knowing that the iPhone 5 is just around the corner? I thought not.
The best gadgets are always desirable in their own right and need not rely on acres of bling to find buyers. An iPhone 3GS, 4S or an iPod touch: every one makes a tasteful fashion statement. In contrast, a jewel-encrusted iPhone is an abomination that would demonstrate only a severe absence of taste.
¹ Blower – Cockney for telephone