Forget about accelerating technology, let’s talk accelerating prices. ‘Luxury designer’ Stuart Hughes has just released his version of the iPhone 4. It’s made out of rose gold covered in more than 500 diamonds (total weight is around 100 ct), and includes a platinum button fitted with a single-cut 7.4 ct pink diamond. All for the low low price of £ 5 million or $7,945,500 US. If you want to buy one for yourself and your spouse then you better act soon, because only two will be made. Who’s going to buy this crap? I have no idea, but I can show you the idiot who makes it. Check out Stuart Hughes fawning over his creations in the video below. I find this sort of excess rather sad, but it does speak to the importance we attach to our modern technology.
If the picture above doesn’t give you enough insight into the ridiculous luxury that the iPhone 4 Diamond Rose represents, then perhaps you need to read Stuart Hughes’ description of the device. Straight from the website:
The bezel is handmade from rose with approximately 500 individual flawless diamonds which total over 100ct. The rear section is formed using rose gold with the added touch of its rose gold Apple logo and 53 diamonds. The main navigation is made from platinum which holds a single-cut 7.4ct pink diamond. Also included (not shown in picture) is a rare 8ct single-cut flawless diamond which can replace the pink one. The chest which houses this unique handset is made from a single block of granite, in imperial pink with the inner lined with nubuck top grain leather, which weighs a massive 7kg. The handset is 32gb with a limited edition of only two to ever be made.
Yes, in case you missed it, the phone comes wrapped not in a satin box, nor even a gold case. When you store your $8 million iPhone 4 every night it will be nestled in a block of pink granite. Apparently Hughes doesn’t F*** around.
Of course, Stuart Hughes has an entire line of luxury Apple products, most covered in gold and diamonds. He’ll also sell you a gold BlackBerry if that’s your thing:
The iPad that Hughes shows off first is non other than his iPad Supreme Fire Edition, which retails for around £ 110,000 or $176,000 US. Sounds almost cheap compared to the iPhone doesn’t it?
*Sigh* Why am I showing you all of this junk? Well, Hughes’ collection includes more than Apple and mobile devices. There’s a bunch of diamond crusted television sets, golden Nintendo Wiis, and laptops crafted from platinum, with the odd suit and watch thrown in for tradition’s sake. The theme is pretty clear: gadgets covered in precious stones and metals. It’s a sort of techno-worship where valuable sacrifices are attached to the altar that is the Apple product. Whether you consider these excessive luxury items good or bad (if you think ‘good’ I really need you to explain yourself in the comments section), it’s clear that trendy devices and other tangible examples of technology carry a sort of importance that is usually reserved for monuments and palaces. Cutting edge tech has always been used as a status symbol, it doesn’t matter if it was a new bronze sword or a first generation automobile. Now, however, mass production means that almost anyone can have a mobile phone (4.6 billion and counting). As rich and gaudy as an $8 million iPhone 4 may be, it’s really saying something quite the opposite of its appearance. Technology is now democratizing, not stratifying. We only have to build gold and diamond phones because there’s less and less practical difference between the tech for the rich and the tech for the poor.
[image credits: StuartHughes.com]