New cell phone comes with $60,000 price tag, but can’t do email

If you’re going to pay 42,000 euros ($60,000) for a cell phone, it would be nice if it could download apps, take photos, cope with emails, or perhaps surf the web. Unfortunately the somewhat stratospherically-priced AE+Y cell phone from Danish luxury retailer Aesir can do none of these.

Indeed, the phone’s specifications looks like something from a bygone era – a 2-inch TFT screen, 5.2 hours talk time and a weight almost double that of Apple’s iPhone. Ah, that’s probably because it’s made of gold.

Moscow’s “fashion-forward elite” is one of the target markets for the 18-carat gold phone, according to a Reuters report.

The AE+Y does feature speed dial, a world clock, a calendar, and something that could be very useful for Russian oligarchs wishing to count their millions – a calculator; though surely the 2-inch screen will be too small to get all the numbers on.

It also has a laser-engraved keypad and, this is the bit we like most, “bespoke ringtones and sounds composed by Vietnamese-Danish ‘master of the upright bass,’ Chris Minh Doky.”

Touching upon the reasons for its lack of gizmos, the designer of the phone, Yves Behar, explained that with the AE+Y he wanted to focus on “the idea of voice, clarity and simplicity.”

A stainless steel version is also available for a mere 7,250 euros ($10,000). Aesir will make no more than 25 of the gold version this year, though a limited number will also be made in 2012.

“It’s a collector’s item,” Aesir’s founder Thomas Jensen told Reuters. “People are used to collecting, say, watches, while designer phones is a practically empty niche.”

One thing’s for sure. With a phone worth that much, you’ll certainly want to keep it well away from the bathroom.

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