Here's what a $20,000 smartphone looks like

Other than its appearance, the Vertu Signature Touch doesn't seem much different than your average phone.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 19, 2014 3:52PM
Credit: © Brady Jonathan/Newscom/Ababa Press
Caption: The Vertu Signature Touch luxury smartphoneBy Lisa Eadicicco, Business Insider

Smartphones are expensive. In most cases, you need to shell out about $200 to get a good phone with a two-year contract. Those prices skyrocket to the $600-to-$700 range when you buy a phone off-contract.

That amount of money sounds like petty cash compared to what luxury brand Vertu charges for its smartphones.

The company launched its Vertu Signature Touch smartphone (pictured) earlier this month, and it costs between $10,000 and $22,000, depending on how you customize it. 

So what makes Vertu's smartphones so expensive? The company claims it's all about the materials it uses.

All of Vertu's smartphones are handmade in England, according to the company's website. Vertu handwrites its signature on each phone to show it was created by a single craftsman start to finish. 

The phone's casing is made of natural-grain alligator leather and grade five titanium alloy, which Vertu claims is two-and-a-half times stronger than stainless steel but is still light.

The display, made of sapphire crystal, can reportedly withstand the weight of a "200g ball bearing dropped from a height of one metre," according to the company.

Vertu has teamed up with Bang and Olufsen for the speakers in this device, claiming its camera is certified by Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad

Other than its appearance, the Vertu Signature Touch doesn't seem to be much different than your average smartphone.

The phone comes with a 4.7-inch 1080p display and a 13-megapixel camera and runs on a 2.3-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, the same chip you'll find in today's flagships like the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8.

It's unclear exactly what accounts for the differences in price. Specifically, Engadget reports the prices range between $10,300 and $21,900, while The Wall Street Journal reports the black alligator version costs $14,100.

Vertu does mention that buyers can choose different designs and colors. You can get your name or a phrase engraved on the phone.

Vertu's Signature Touch smartphone is unfathomably priced for the everyday user, but it's not the most expensive phone in the world.

Luxury gadget designer Stuart Hughes recreated the iPhone 5's chassis with solid gold and embedded a rare black diamond in the body. Hughes' iPhone 5 sells for an unimaginable $15 million.

More from Business Insider
Tags: AAPL
Jun 19, 2014 6:02PM
Just goes to show you that the ultra rich are just as gullible as the rest of us. $20,000 for a smart phone? For that kind of money it ought to fetch the morning paper and pour me a cup of coffee while I wait for the croissants it made from scratch.
Jun 19, 2014 7:59PM

Finally, a smart phone for someone with more money then sense.


this is something marketed to insecure rich people to have something they can "brag" to people about.

Jun 19, 2014 8:39PM
They never mentioned if it would still work after you dropped it in the toilet.

Jun 20, 2014 8:36AM

Vertu huh? Never heard of it! Best buy must have them in the back or something...

Jun 19, 2014 7:32PM
Screw that. I felt bad spending $300 for my iPhone last year. I'd rather buy a nice beater car for $20,000.
Jun 19, 2014 8:35PM
Jun 20, 2014 9:05AM
If I take a TURD and wrap it in natural-grain alligator leather, grade five titanium alloy and give it sapphire crystal will it still be a TURD or something worth much more?
these limeys are clearly out of their minds
Jun 20, 2014 9:04AM
line up morons

a fool and his money are soon parted...oh this the new SNAP phone?
Jun 20, 2014 1:25AM

Well, obviously the author didn't speak to Vertu or to anyone who actually owns one.  The reasons for the expense are twofold: (1) security and (2) concierge.  Forget having the Centurion card, the concierge is 24 hours live support anywhere in the world.  You will get in anywhere.  I won't divulge most of the security features, but put it this way - if you have accounts with 9 figures at a time, you don't want a hacker getting into them.  The built in EPIRB will get you out of a jam in the event of an emergency and only private security and certain government agencies have the code.  That should be enough to convince you that it's worth 20k...Incidentally, Vertu has "fancy" models (platinum with diamonds, etc) that are far more expensive.  I don't understand those because the functionality is the same.  


Jun 19, 2014 4:26PM
Well, it still makes more financial sense sense than the expenditures of the goverment, pathetic as that is . For the 1% this is simply status and indulgence which  I don't personally have a problem with. I have more concern for the person making $13 an hour buying 20" rims than the person making $100 an hour buying an AMG mercedes. 

Jun 19, 2014 7:34PM
With the addiction that everyone has for phones, they'll sell like hotcakes.
Jun 19, 2014 10:32PM
Jun 19, 2014 8:31PM
Don't let the government know about this, they will want to replace all of the current phones with this!!!
Jun 20, 2014 10:30AM

I'm fine with my $40 smartphone and no contract.

Oh and get this I can afford to eat and pay rent this way.

Jun 19, 2014 5:51PM
Almost any smart phone will take th 200 Gram 1 Meter drop test.
Jun 20, 2014 9:32AM
Ya got to be kidding me I was homeless for 1 year and now barley making it and 20,000 I could live like a king What a wast of money. 
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

123 rated 1
262 rated 2
480 rated 3
651 rated 4
649 rated 5
629 rated 6
616 rated 7
496 rated 8
346 rated 9
111 rated 10

Top Picks

TAT&T Inc9



Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.