Sad, sad, sad, if you ask me. Buy this book instead.
"Look, we're not Russian oil tycoons with a taste for trophy wives one-third our age. That's true. Nevertheless, no matter how hard we try, we just can't understand how spending $5,000 on these new Christian Dior phones will substantially increase our lot in life. Then again, we're afraid of robots. The new line of boutique phones manufactured in partnership with ModeLabs feature a touchscreen display, camera, and novel, mini-phone extender dubbed My Dior (pictured after the break). About the size of a USB key, My Dior is meant to clip onto the outside of your wo/man bag thus avoiding any frantic rummaging when the favorable divorce settlement call finally arrives. Sorry, that's about as detailed as the specification list gets... not that specs matter when couture is at stake."
PARIS -- French luxury-goods company Christian Dior SA Wednesday will unveil a line of mobile phones, extending beyond its traditional fashion business to boost sales, particularly with brand-hungry consumers in new markets such as China and Russia.
The new Dior phone -- priced from €3,500, or $5,000, and up -- comes after competitors such as Prada SpA and Dolce & Gabbana have turned their fashion-branded mobile phones into significant businesses.
"In the same way that we have developed our watch and jewelry lines, we want to increase sales with the phone," Dior Chief Executive Sidney Toledano said in an interview.
The phones will be made by a small French manufacturer, ModeLabs Group SA. Mr. Toledano says he expects to sell at least 10,000 of them a year at the beginning and hopes to reach annual sales of €200 million in the longer term. ModeLabs invested several million euros in research-and-development costs on the new phone, said the company's founder, Stéphane Bohbot.
That revenue target is lofty, considering Dior's overall sales last year were €787 million, but is in line with rivals. Last year, Dolce & Gabbana and its partner Motorola Inc. sold €200 million worth of the designer label's gold Razr phone.
Dior's move comes as high-end fashion houses are crossing the boundaries of traditional fashion items to boost sales. After the licensing heyday of the 1980s, which cheapened the names of many fashion houses by putting them on items ranging from lighters to toilet-seat covers, labels reeled in their branding efforts during the 1990s.
Yet in recent years, many companies have branched out again, this time with a pledge to be more selective about how they use their name.
With mobile phones, fashion brands have insisted on taking part in both design and marketing. Last year, when Italian fashion house Prada launched a phone with South Korea's LG Electronics Inc., Prada tinkered with the touch screen and preloaded content in addition to working on the phone's basic design.
Mr. Toledano said the idea of creating a Dior phone was driven by demand in new luxury markets such as China and Russia.
"What really convinced us was seeing the attention people in emerging markets pay to buying a phone, by selecting the color and design," said Mr. Toledano. In Europe and the U.S., in contrast, phones are seen as more disposable commodities, he said.
Dior's new phone -- which will work world-wide, except in Japan and Korea, where it isn't compatible with local wireless networks -- is priced higher than rival fashion phones, closer to the price range of Nokia Corp.'s premium line Vertu, which also starts in the $5,000 range. Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Giorgio Armani SpA all have phones out that cost around $600.
In addition to all the regular features of a cellphone -- a touchscreen, a camera, ringtones -- the Dior phone offers a new gimmick: a miniature phone barely bigger than a USB key. Dior says the mini "My Dior," as it is called, is handy for women who don't want to rummage through their bags to find their phones. Instead, the mini version of the phone clips to the outside of a bag for easier access. It communicates with the main phone, so people can pick up or make calls with My Dior and use the main phone for more complicated functions."
Let me see: For the same price as this $5,000 DiorPhone, you could buy a 16 GB Apple iPhone ($499), two years of unlimited-minute-and-Internet AT&T service ($119/month; $2,856 for 2 years), plus the unlimited texting plan ($20/month; $480 for 2 years), for a grand total of $3,835 for the two years of the contract. And you'd still have money left over to pay the taxes, fees, and surcharges on your AT&T bill.
Why would anyone, even a Dior addict, buy this? Unless Dior kills off their regular cellphone cases to systemically boost sales of the DiorPhone, this is destined to fail.
I am not afraid to keep on living - I am not afraid to walk this world alone.
My first reaction is that the design looks like crap.
I got to agree, That has got to be the ugliest cell phone i've seen
...and is it a chypre or fougère
'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.
I think I'm more likely to buy the new Apple fragrance "Terre de Pomme", at 1/100 of the price, with an iPhone to boot.
Of course, if the Dior phone came as a gift set with a beach bag and bottle of Dior Addict (my wife's "frisky" scent), I could be induced to make a purchase I might regret in the morning.
I guess it's understandable. Most of us figure a cell phone should cost about the same as a fairly nice hotel room. And there must be people who stay in those $5000 rooms.
I just watched a thing on the National Geographic Channel about that ridiculous hotel in Dubai that opened up in 1999, and they've got rooms that cost about $20,000 and some are upwards of that. So yeah, I assume people stay in them.
By the way, if any of you ever catch me considering staying in a $20,000 room, I want you to punch me in the stomach. Hard.
the phones actually not that ugly, and the extender I think is a revolutionary new idea, now motorola just has to bring the price point down a bit on their version and we'll be all over it..
PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather
I'll hold out for the Pokemon version...
These days there are plenty of people in Moscow, Shanghai or Dubai to whom a $5000 phone is a disposable commodity. We're all just small-minded, envious bourgeoix here
Bewildering why they wouldn't make sure the phone would work in Japan - I was thinking that would be their biggest market.
P.S. The book referenced above is great; you will definitely think twice about purchasing luxury items after reading that book.
Last edited by seattlelight; 27th May 2008 at 05:09 AM.
I hate to be the rain cloud on this parade, but let us be realistic. $5000 for a phone; mine comes free each time I renew my plan and trade in the old one. I think this is so sad. If I had that type of money I would give most of it to charities, do I really need a phone that costs the same as a home somewhere in this world, not hardly. Shame on these people for their decadence. It is one thing to be born into royalty in the 17th century, with no concept of poverty; it is another in this day and age where it is so apparent these people are trying to purchase some semblance of nobility. Such a farce, a truly humorless joke.
Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source
If something (I can afford!) is 'costed' beyond a certain price point I start thinking in 'wells' That is, how many wells could be provided for impoverished, third-world communities...I just feel so guilty!
And yeah, if Dior has any sense, a Japan and Korea compatible version should be in the works!
Personally, I don't regard things as expensive or cheap, as i've been bought up in a very privileged background, but despite that, I still regard things as expensive or cheap, comparatively. This is just the tip of the iceberg, there are phone companies (Vertu - subdivision of Nokia) that sell phones that go in the upwards of £6000 ($12000)
Even if I was really rich, i'd rather use that money as toilet paper, than buy this phone (or any above £400)
I don't see why it's $5500, other than the snob factor.
I have no problem with buying something for the snob factor, but these phones are just ridiculous - I can get my iPhone encrusted with crystals for far less.
It's difficult for me to understand because, like the article mentions, in the USA, we trade in phones every year or two -the company notifies you to come in and replace your phone. Cell phones are considered disposable and they're small and such an integral part of life these days that it would be very difficult to make it into a serious "status" symbol. They're not visible enough or permanent enough to be a status symbol here, like cars and purses and watches. JMHO.