Vertu's $10K Android Phone is Absurdly Expensive and Luxurious

Vertu, a former subsidiary of Nokia and maker of luxury smartphones with extravagant price tags, is back at it, this time with a device that runs 7,900 euros (around $10,600). The new Vertu Ti attempts to justify its price tag with a titanium frame and sapphire screen, along with polished ceramic and black leather accents, all hand-crafted from 184 parts. The name and signature of the person who built is inscribed to the inside lid of the SIM card holder.

The hardware specs are a little less obscene. It has a 3.7-inch touchscreen display, 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 64GB of internal storage, 8MP rear-facing camera with autofocus and twin LED flash, 1.3MP front-facing camera, and various other ho-hum tidbits, at least in reference to its exorbitant price, which can reach as high as $22,100 (if you purchase the "Red Gold Mixed Metals" version).

Vertu Ti

Vertu opted to go with Android for its first post-Nokia device, because it's a more established OS than Windows Phone.

"You need to be part of an ecosystem," Vertu chief Perry Oosting explained to BBC. "Your device will have to integrate with other devices. I think the Windows Phone [platform] will have success but it is still a relatively small market share. At the moment it doesn't have the global reach of Android -- which is about 60 percent of the market."

There's no 4G radio in the Vertu Ti, though there is a "concierge" button that links to a global team that can help out with localized advice or make restaurant reservations. But let's be real. People who purchase this device are doing so primarily for the status symbol.