Mobile phones are everywhere you look: advertised on the television, in your browser, and when you walk down the street. And, hey, perhaps the mobile phone in your pocket right now is the most expensive phone you have ever owned.
Even so, there is a whole luxury phone market out there, and each handset has a hefty price tag!
Just What Makes Luxury Phones So Expensive?
Two main elements contribute to the most expensive phones in the world: features and style.
In the not-so-distant past, the features a mobile phone had to offer were what set it apart. The most expensive phones on the market were determined by 3G and 4G connection, internal storage, and screen size.
However, with manufacturers making the majority of these features available at mid-range and even low-range model prices, the criteria for the most expensive phones have come to focus a little more on style or aesthetic and, in some cases actual gold.
Let's take a look at some of the most extravagant and most expensive phones in the world. You can expect to see: gold and black diamonds, solid platinum, twenty-two-karat gold plating and even a large pink diamond embedded in the shell.
10 of the Most Expensive Phones in the World
10. Virtu Signature Cobra
Dubbed the world's most expensive phone upon its release, this limited-release model was designed by jewellery company Boucheron, and each of the eight phones was assembled by hand.
Each handset is gold plated and features its own decorative cobra made of solid gold and bedecked with 439 rubies and a pair of emeralds for eyes.
The screen offers a 5.2-inch display with 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution. The battery capacity is fit for approximately five hours of talk time.
9. Goldvish Revolution
Where to even start with this one? The shape immediately sets this phone apart; it almost looks more like a super-sparkly television remote than a mobile phone. Also, it has a detachable analog watch, exclusively designed by Fredric Jouvenot.
The Swedish-produced Goldvish Revolution is part of a 32-unit, limited run. It includes 18-karat white and pink gold and is encrusted with 29-carat diamonds for that extra exclusive look.
The phone offers a 2.2-inch screen and uses a lithium battery to facilitate extended talk time. The Goldvish Revolution might be 13 years old, but it remains a noteworthy addition to this list.
8. Gresso Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot
The first handset on this list with a cool million price tag, the Gresso Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot, is a super limited run with just three of these phones in the world. Each of these phones is forged from 180 grams of gold and inset with black diamonds.
The opulence does not stop there! Each of the keys on the Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot feature laser-etched, 32-carat sapphires, and the phone's back panel is made from polished wood from a 200-year-old African tree with a unique number engraved on it.
For a slightly less extravagant option, the Gresso Luxor Las Vegas standard model was released at the same time for approximately $20,000, sans diamonds and sapphires, with only the rare wood and solid gold to sustain its price tag.
7. Goldvish Le Million
Yes, it's 16 years old, and no, the price tag has not dropped.
With only three units ever produced, the Goldvish Le Million was designed by Emmanuel Gueit, and stylized in the shape of a dagger. The Goldvish Le Million is forged from 18-karat white gold and studded with diamonds.
Upon its release in 2006, the Goldvish Le Million featured cutting-edge technology, including a 2.0MP rear camera, with 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution.
6. Diamond Crypto Smartphone
Cost: $1.3 million
Once hailed as the most expensive phone in the world, the Diamond Crypto Smartphone is more than a little dated now but retains its high-end price tag; perhaps because of the near-solid platinum shell and 50 diamonds that give the model its opulent name.
The logo and home button are rose gold, with a sliver of Macassar Ebony on the sides. The Diamond Crypto Smartphone is named for its diamond-studded appearance (including ten rare, blue-coloured diamonds) and the unique data encryption technology which ensures the user's data remains secure.
Data protection is among the key features here on the Diamond Crypto Smartphone - well, that and some serious bling.
5. iPhone 3G Kings Button
Cost: $2.5 million
Okay, so we're all used to seeing the Apple logo stamped across half the phones in the world and, more often than not, on many of the most expensive smartphones. Well, the iPhone 3G Kings Button is something else.
The phone was designed by Austrian jeweller Peter Alisson, and both hewn from and decorated with precious metals, including 18 carats of yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold.
The Kings Button is studded with 138 diamonds, with a 6.6 single-cut diamond that replaces the standard iPhone button.
As Apple updates its smartphone line-up so quickly, this 12-year-old device is far from current. But the gold, the diamonds, and the whiff of luxury ensure the Kings Button has remained a popular piece among smartphone enthusiasts and Apple fanatics alike.
4. Goldstriker iPhone 3GS Supreme
Cost: $3.2 million
When one iPhone just doesn't have enough luxury, add a few extra karats. The Goldstriker iPhone 3GS Supreme is both a smartphone and 271 grams of solid gold.
This gold iPhone device is adorned with 136 diamonds on the front, with a further 53 on the rear to make up the Apple logo. Similar to the Kings Button, the Goldstriker iPhone 3GS Supreme has forgone the standard home button in favour of a single-cut diamond, but this one has been upgraded to a fabulous 7.1 carats.
The Goldstriker is a little outdated tech-wise compared to other phones on the market. Instead, this phone has settled into a cozy retirement as a sought-after collectors' piece - especially if you still have the original box made from solid granite and inlaid with Kashmir gold.
3. iPhone 4 Diamond Rose Edition
Cost: $8 million
So, that's a big leap from fourth to third most expensive phone in terms of price! The iPhone 4 Diamond Rose edition was designed by Stuart Hughes and hewn entirely from rose gold. The phone is rimmed with 500 diamonds and 100 carats, with an additional 53 diamonds on the rear to form the iconic Apple logo.
The navigation button is where this phone really earns its place at the top of this list. The button is forged from platinum and set with a single, 7.4-carat pink diamond. With the purchase of this phone, you will also receive an 8-carat flawless diamond which can replace the pink one according to preference.
It might be one of the world's most expensive phones, but this phone is still an iPhone 4, and Apple is not supporting this model anymore, forcing the Diamond Rose into retirement.
The iPhone 4 Diamond Rose edition was restricted to a super limited, two-unit run, and each was presented in an Imperial Pink solid granite chest.
2. iPhone 4S Elite Gold
Cost: $9.4 million
The second most expensive phone is the iPhone 4S Elite Gold, yet another classy collaboration between Apple and designer Stuart Hughes.
Now, this is a phone for the diamond lover. The phone is bedecked with 400 x 100-karat diamonds plus the 53 diamonds to form the rear logo and a home button made from a single, 7.6-carat diamond. The rear panel is a piece of 24-karat gold. That's a lot of diamonds and a lot of karats but wait for it...
Unlike any other phone, iPhone 4S Elite Gold is presented in a box made from solid platinum and inlaid with actual pieces of polished tyrannosaurus rex bone! The box is further decorated with precious materials, including opal, pietersite, charoite, rutile quartz, and star sunstone.
And yet, just like its Diamond Rose predecessor, all the opulence in the realm cannot prevent the Elite Gold from falling victim to advancing technology. This smartphone is a 4S, which Apple is no longer supporting, so bling-wise - it's fabulous! But tech-wise - it's time for an upgrade.
The Most Expensive Phone Ever
Alright, we have taken a look at some of the most expensive and beautiful phones, hewn from precious metals and inlaid with rare gemstones. Many of these models once held the title of the most expensive phone in the world, but no longer.
The most expensive phone in the world is... surprise, surprise, another iPhone.
1. Falcon Supernova iPhone 6 Pink Diamond
Cost: $48.5 million
The Falcon Supernova iPhone 6 Pink Diamond is a decorated version of the classic iPhone 6 and the fruits of a collaboration between Apple and luxury brand Falcon.
The Supernova iPhone 6 pink is somehow not the best-looking phone on the list, with neither the precise decoration of the Stuart Hughes models nor the quirky shape of the Goldvish Le Million. Yet, it is undoubtedly the most expensive phone by far.
The Falcon Supernova iPhone 6 has a 24-karat gold exterior and is set with a pretty big pink diamond on the rear panel. The Supernova iPhone 6 is also available in rose gold or platinum and with a choice of an orange diamond or blue diamond if you would prefer.
The Falcon Supernova is still an iPhone 6, however, which is no longer receiving software updates from Apple. This means that at eight years in, the most expensive phone in the world is also being forced into retirement by market leader Apple.
The good news is that if you did fork out $48.5 million for one, the bling alone would earn you most of that back, right?
What is the best-selling phone brand in the world?
The current top-selling phone brand is Samsung, with a market share of 28.14%.
What is the fastest phone in the world?
Currently, the fastest phone in the world is the REDMAGIC 7 Pro, which is very popular with gamers due to its speed.
Purchase One of the Most Expensive Phones With Help From Spin Genie
At the peak of the luxury market, the technical capabilities of the device go out of the window in favour of just how many precious materials can I carry in my pocket.
There really is no doubt that some of the items on this list are seriously beautiful phones; whether it's the dagger shape of the Goldvish Le Million or the signature cobra of the Vertu Signature, there is something that everyone would secretly like to take their next call on.
Yet, in recent years, Apple has very much dominated the market, partnering with designers from around the world to release extra fancy, extra sparkly renditions of their otherwise mainstream products. While that's great for them and for the usability of the device, one can't help but wonder if the luxury phone market just isn't as interesting as it once was.