While Apple and Samsung mess about with gold-coloured phones, HTC has plated real gold onto five of its HTC One handsets as a promotional exercise for the forthcoming Mobo awards.
There will only be five blinged-out HTC One handsets for the awards, with the winner of the best newcomer award at the Mobos getting one of them. We don't know what will happen to the other four, but expect to see some senior HTC execs flashing the bling at the next manufacturers' pow-wow, especially if they can find anyone with a "champagne" iPhone to impress.
Blinging up phones used to be quite fashionable. The Motorola Diamond was a variant of the original RAZR inlaid with sparklies and retailing at $5k in 2005, but if that was too cheap for you, a chap named Peter Aloisson would take a Moto mobe and plate it with gold before sprinkling it with diamonds and charging $40,000 for the privilege, which makes HTC's latest £2,750 model look positively cheap and cheerful.
Assuming one doesn't want a phone which looks like a well-polished pearly king, then the provider of choice is Vertu. Formerly part of Nokia, the luxury brand got spun off from the burning platform in the middle of 2012. Last week it announced its £4,100 Android-based smartphone for those who don’t need to show off quite so much.
The Vertu Constellation boasts a titanium case and ringtones recorded specially by the London Symphony Orchestra – but, more importantly, it also comes with a concierge button for when one's people are too far away to be of help.
The golden HTC One comes with none of that; just a splash of colour and an etched logo wrapped around an admittedly impressive Android handset. If everyone else is going gold, then HTC isn't one to get left behind.
According to the Wall St Journal, the upcoming HTC One Max will sport a super-large screen and fingerprint sensor. ®