We have seen luxury phones encrusted with diamonds before, and some of them are worth more than $1 million. But a British designer named Stuart Hughes is now raising the bar with an iPhone 5 that costs £10 million, or more than $15 million USD. The gimmick of this particular Apple piece is that its home button is made of a 26-carat black diamond. The marketing babble on the website is satisfyingly nutty: “Diamond is distinctive in the way it reflects light. It has a unique brilliance and also breaks the light up into spectral colours, which reflect within the stone as it is moved.” It is also pretty cool that a product description page for a £10 million device manages to misspell the word “chassis.”
The entire Stuart Hughes site is addictive. The Diamond Nokia E71 is something you might expect to see in a mid-level Macao bordello circa 2008. You can hide the thing in a wallet made from “real Ostrich foot.” The clash between the badly outdated keypad and the diamond encrusted exterior creates an intriguing tension. You gotta love the way Hughes capitalizes words like Ostrich and Platinum, as though tackiness was holy. The product description for a platinum iPad is delirious: “Encrusted with 85.5 cts of ‘I’F’ Flawless diamonds, a total amount of 173 individually set sparkling gems sit beautifully on the skillfully crafted solid Platinum rear section which weighs in at a huge 2,700 grams.”
A “huge” 2,700 grams? This is apparently how the ultra-luxury biz works. After tablet vendors have spent tens of millions of dollars in R&D to shave a few grams off their devices, luxe designers wrap the gadgets in some of the heaviest materials found in our universe and then brag about how much they weigh.
Two images of the $15 million iPhone 5 follow below.