The market for high-end luxury phones is apparently lucrative enough that, not only are more big-name players (like Armani and Dolce & Gabbana) getting into the field but the prices for exclusive handsets seem to be reaching new levels. Such might be the case for the new Ferrari Ascent 60 candybar-style phone from Vertu, the luxury unit of Finland’s Nokia, which the company has started selling at its flagship stores in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Paris for a mere €18,000—about $25,000 U.S. dollars.
Designed jointly with Ferrari, the Ascent 60 phone celebrates Ferrari’s 60th anniversary. At a technical level, the Ascent 60 doesn’t seem to be anything particularly special, offering tri-band GSM connectivity, Bluetooth, a 20mm handsfree loudspeaker, and USB synchronization with PCs and Macs (although the cable is sold separately: one might think at that price a cable wouldn’t be too much to throw in the box, but…). The phone also comes with custom Ferrari ringtones, including a revving and overrun Enzo Ferrari engine. The phone also supports MMS and SMS messaging, offers multilingual text prediction, and offers standard phone apps like an alarm clock, calendar, calculator, and a 1,000-name address book. It should get up to four hours of talk time and up to 270 hours of standby time on a single battery charge. No music player, no portable TV, no integrated GPS. But it comes with a screensaver featuring Ferrari graphics.
On the surface, though the phone features a Sapphire Crystal display, precision-engineered steel keys on jeweled bearings, a hand-polished titanium case, hand-stitched Ferrari leather on the back, and a battery plate which (we’re not making this up) is a 1:100 replica of a Ferrari manual shift grid.
We can only guess things really are different for the rich.