Sunday, December 30, 2007

The World's Most Expensive Mobile Phones


They're studded with gems and loaded with extras, from data-encryption systems to MP3 players. And they're a big hit with the super-rich

Struggling to find a gift for that hard-to-buy-for multimillionaire on your Christmas list? Why not splurge on one of the world's most expensive mobile phones? For as little as $7,200—to as much as $1.3 million—these handsets sport luxurious extras ranging from diamond-encrusted keypads to ironclad data protection, as well as the standard digital camera and Web-browsing features.

O.K., that could be a bit more than you planned on spending. But luxury cell-phone brands such as Vertu, a British-based subsidiary of Nokia (NOK), have posted triple-digit sales growth in recent years as the ultrawealthy look for something more exclusive than mainstream upmarket models such as Apple's (AAPL) iPhone or LG's (LGEJY) Prada handset.

Targeting the growing number of megarich in developing economies, as well as more-established markets in Western Europe and North America, luxury phone brands have become a big business. Click on to see which companies are vying to create the world's most expensive mobile phone.

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