Luxury phones suffer badly in recession

High end phones suffer in the recession
High end phones suffer in the recession

Those high end phones that cost an inexplicable amount to buy are suffering in the current economic conditions.

That's the message consumers are trying to give to the likes of Motorola, which released the post £1,000 Aura handset despite struggling massively itself.

Other manufacturers, such as Bang and Olufsen, have shut up shop as well, as the recession stops people from spending £5,000 on a phone that looks and feels a bit nice.

"The culture has shifted away from conspicuous consumption, so if you are going to have a super expensive product this may not be the time for it," Avi Greengart, research director for consumer devices at Current Analysis, told Wired US.

"Super expensive, bling bling phones are big in markets where conspicuous consumption is a way to tell your countrymen you have arrived. But now, it's a very different economy for everyone."

It's not over yet

However, head of Vertu (that firm that makes phones with a butler button... yes, a button to get stuff) Frank Nuovo, believes high end phones, like cars and handbags, will endure:

"The concept is same as a fine watch or a fabulous car. To be a true luxury product, you have to look at making something that doesn't have an 18-month shelf life.

"Take watches and cars. They all run the same but everyone has a unique way of delivering them stylistically. We can do the same with phones."

However, it seems Moto might have got the point - it has reportedly cancelled the latest iteration in its mega-expensive range, the Ivory E18, following poor interest from carrier.

Via Wired US

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.