...many luxury brands, observes [ Danielle Keighery of Vertu], subsequently launch more affordable versions of their products. So the gap between Vertu's cheapest phone and Nokia's most expensive may yet be closed. In the longer term, Vertu plans to exploit the emergence of "wearable" technology, as phones morph into jewellery. Here, Vertu may be on to something, says Sofia Ghachem, an analyst at UBS Warburg. Siemens, another handset maker, has just launched a new range of wearable "fashion accessory phones" under the name Xelibri. It will produce two "collections" of Xelibri phones a year, in the hope that marketing phones as fashion items will encourage people to buy new handsets more often. With market penetration at around 80% in western Europe, growth in handset sales has stalled and Siemens believes its new approach could give the industry a much-needed boost.Link to Economist story, Link to Flash-bloated Vertu website, Link to Infosync news item about Xelibri (with product photo... what inspires these elite-phones' designers to think they each have to reinvent the keypad?) Discuss (thanks, Numair)
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.