On September 27th last year, at the Collector’s Palace at Dubai Mall, London based Gold and Co. displayed their first gold plated i-phone 5. Customised, limited in edition, individually numbered, supplied with a certificate guaranteeing its authenticity, presented in a ravishing hand crafted wooden box, the phone was priced at around USD 5,500/-.
Gold and Co. was not the only company indulging in such creativity. Others were also using the product to showcase their versions, attract the rich and famous, make a name for themselves and in the process, increase their bank balances. Geneva based “Golden Dreams” and “Goldgenie” of London, were also offering gold plated, rose-gold plated, platinum plated, diamond studded, gold and alligator leather covered or re-modelled versions of the i-phone.
Soon after the introduction of i-phone 5, Apple introduced the i-pad and the mini i-pad. These were, like the i-phone 5, 4 and 3 predecessors, highly overpriced, but popular. They were targeted at high profile customers who, not only had the capacity to pay, but were compelled to do so, just to keep up with the Joneses. To ride the bandwagon, companies then started gold plating, leather covering, diamond studding the mini i-pad (and its carrying case) to attract celebrity customers. Exquisite, with elaborate appendages,but doing the same work as their un-adorned original version cousins, these gadgets were mind bogglingly high-priced. They were bought for fashion and show rather than for their use.
High priced status symbol versions are well known in other areas; notably in automobiles and homes. The 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe, for example, was sold for $8.7 million in 1987. Similarly, despite the recession in USA, Hearst Mansion, located at Beverley Hills in California, was priced at $ 165 million by financier Leonard Ross. At the same place, a mansion called Fleur de Lys was priced at $ 125 million. This mansion has a dozen bedrooms, 15 bathrooms and the accoutrements are all Versailles-style. In comparison, the gold plated i-phone5s or the mini i-pads, are eminently, more affordable!
On the technical side, the i-phone5 boasts of a larger 4 inch retinal display, a thinner and lighter body than its predecessors, better colour saturation leading to more accurate image display, a “SIRI” voice assistant to accept voice commands, the latest A6 dual core processor, i-message and i-cloud facilities, three microphones, an 8 MP camera and much more. Specs – wise, it is excellent. Price wise, it is gorgeous; gold plated, it is extravagant.
The gold adorned version of the i-pad mini, in 16, 32 and 64 GB capacities, Gold (black / white), Rose-Gold (black / white), with Wi-Fi, mirror finish, high resolution retinal display, 5 MPi-sight camera and 4 G mobile data communication, is a very elegant piece. The only concern (maybe) is its $ 1856 price tag. If that does not really concern you, I would personally recommend the Rose-Gold –Black version. It is, indeed, gorgeous.