Nokia selling $25,000 Ferrari phones

Nokia's Vertu subsidiary is selling a $25,000 phone.

If you thought the iPhone was overpriced, stop reading this story now.

Nokia's exclusive Vertu subsidiary is selling a US$25,400 phone in shops in Paris, London, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Ascent Ferrari 60 was created to commemorate sports-car maker Ferrari's 60th anniversary. The phones are hand assembled using top-of-the-line stainless steel and titanium components, as well as leather from authentic Ferrari suppliers, said Elizabeth Maragh, a Vertu spokeswoman. Only 60 of the phones have been produced.

Vertu has been selling the Ascent Ferrari 60 for several months now, alongside another Ferrari-inspired phone called Ascent Ferrari 1947 Limited Edition, but it had not spoken publicly about the Ascent Ferrari 60 until photographs of the device were leaked via the Internet this week, Maragh said.

Both phones feature the distinctive Ferrari Prancing Horse logo and take design cues from the sports cars.

But who would spend $25,000 on a phone?

Someone who appreciates fine craftsmanship, Maragh said.

"The Vertu phones are very much based on craftsmanship and unique materials. All of our phones are handmade and we go to great lengths to choose materials that we feel are the highest quality possible," she said. "A lot of people who buy our phones appreciate these things in life."

Vertu phones have been spotted in the hands of celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, and Catherine Deneuve.

Incidentally, anyone hoping to save a few thousand bucks by waiting for Vertu to suddenly slash prices (as Apple recently did with its iPhone) is probably waiting in vain. According to Maragh, a sudden price-cut on these exclusive phones is unlikely. "We don't normally reduce our phones in that way," she said. "It's a different proposition. I don't think you can compare the two."

Information about the Ascent Ferrari 60's features, beyond its design, were not immediately available, and Maragh could not provide those details.

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Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
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