If you think the iPhone is pricey, you have not seen the GoldVish Le Million, which costs $1.45 million (Dh5.3m) and is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive phone in the world.
Designed by Emmanuel Gueit, production was limited to three units. Called “LeMillion”, it is handcrafted from 18-carat gold and is available in rose, yellow or white gold, with 120-carat diamonds encrusted all over it.
Handmade in Switzerland, it comes with a 2GB memory, quad-band for worldwide reception, an 8x digital zoom camera, MP3 player, Bluetooth and FM radio.
However, GoldVish also offers other diamond-encrusted 18k gold models starting at the more reasonable price of $25,600.
Those who would love a less expensive rival can go for the iPhone Princess Plus made by Australian designer and jeweller Peter Aloisson, which costs $176,400 (Dh647,388).
The Princess Plus iPhone is encrusted with 318 diamonds of 17.75 carats – 138 of which are princess-cut, which is why the phone is named Princess Plus – with the other 180 brilliant-cut, all set in an 18-karat white gold rim.
The Princess Plus already has its first customer: the phone has been purchased by a Russian businessman, who received his extravagant handset earlier this year.
And there seem to be others in Russia willing and able to flaunt such uber-luxury mobile handsets. Euroset in Russia has imported a GoldVish phone and plans to open a GoldVish boutique in Moscow some time next year.
Those who would like a “slightly cheaper” version of the iPhone Princess Plus, can purchase the brilliant-cut diamond version at a price of $66,150. All the diamonds used on the phone are top-quality and clear ones.
The Princess Plus has the same 8GB iPhone chassis and incorporates the same features on the regular iPhone, such as the touch screen, e-mail capability, video camera and web browser.
People in the UAE are currently unable to buy the official guaranteed iPhone, as UAE regulators do not allow Apple an exclusive network service in the market.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority does not permit telecom companies in the UAE to set up exclusive rights for iPhone services. Unlocked versions of the phone are being sold by third parties in the UAE. However, Apple offers no support for these phones.
While the Princess Plus is not cheap it can be argued it is reasonably priced compared to the GoldVish Le Million.
Those who want the glamour of GoldVish, but not on the iPhone chassis, can find an array of phones that have received the Aloisson treatment, such as the Nokia Communicator E90.
The device is made of solid platinum and 18-carat rose gold, and lined on both sides by 25 half-carat princess cut diamonds.
There is also the Ancort Diamond Crypto Smartphone with 3,000 diamonds of top quality priced at €350,000 (Dh1.28 million), the Motorola V4688-90 studded with 1,200 diamonds going for $78,000, and the Sony Ericsson T68, an 18-carat yellow and white gold-studded phone with 892 diamonds, priced at $29,000.
Aloisson is a jeweller renowned for mixing latest technology and gadgets with art and jewellery.
In 1998, he designed his first diamond encrusted phone, the Motorolla V4688-90, and later broke the record for the world’s most expensive mobile phone with the Le Million. Aloisson also designs interiors and furniture.