Internet Fun: Vertu
In the “stuff for people with more dollars than sense” category, I submit for your enjoyment Vertu, purveyors of ridiculously expensive cell phones.
This site consists of about half a dozen different cell phone models, ranging in price from a couple thousand to a couple hundred thousand dollars. Yes, you read that correctly. Vertu actually expects people to pay $200,000+ for a cell phone.
What makes these cell phones so special, you ask? Well, it seems that they vary. The entry level phones are made of brushed steel and real leather, but the top-of-the-line phones can be made from sterling silver, yellow gold, white gold, and even platinum. Buttons are often made of sapphires and- in at least one case- the “select” button at the center of the archaic five-way navigation pad is a diamond.
The crown jewel, as it were, of this company, though, can only be found in an area of the site so exclusive that you have to go through a 20 second registration process before you get access. (This is the internet, after all; nothing can take too long.) Here you find even fancier phones, such as the Signature Precious(shown above), which – in addition to being made of white gold – is bordered on each side by hand placed diamonds. Like many items on this site, all phones in this “private showroom” section are on an “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” basis. No prices are listed and purchase is only by appointment.
As icing on the cake, the technology in these incredibly expensive phones is terrible. Vertu has only recently introduced their first smart phone and touch-screen phone. These are two separate products; if you want a touch-screen smart phone, you’re out of luck. The touch screen phone uses the inferior resistive technology found on old Palm devices like the Treo, and even the smart phone runs Nokia’s dying Symbian platform, which the company has since replaced with Windows Phone.
If you want one of these phones, you will have to fly your private jet to one of their flagship boutiques in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, or Manhattan. Only the most rudimentary models are sold online.