Tuesday, January 08, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, January 2 2007] Sports Car Phones Have Consumers' Pulses Racing

A few months ago a message posted in an online mobile phone-lovers club became the talk of cyberspace. "I want your opinion," it said. "Which do you think better -- to buy a Ferrari phone or an imported car that is a bit more expensive than the phone? I think carrying a Ferrari phone would make me look cool."

The luxury phone is the Ascent Ferrari 60 produced by Vertu, an affiliate of the world's largest handset maker Nokia. It costs some W24 million (US$1=W933). But Ferrari phones are not exclusive to Nokia. Motorola also produces a Ferrari series, competing with Nokia.


A noticeable trend in the IT industry has businesses eagerly forming partnerships with sports car makers. Nokia, which has led the market with reasonably-priced handsets, has introduced premium phones such as the Lamborghini Phone and the Aston Martin Phone.

Samsung Electronics has enhanced its image in Europe with the McLaren Phone. LG Electronics has appealed to Korean consumers in their 20s and 30s with the & FM37 New Beetle MP3 player costing some W200,000. Asus, a leading Taiwanese notebook maker, has also succeeded in gaining popularity with Lamborghini notebooks.

"It seems that the speed and power that sports cars represent match up well with IT products," an industry source said. "Such phones can make users feel as if they have a sports car worth hundreds of million of won in their hand, but costing much less money."

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