Why spending absurd amounts of money on a designer phone is... well, absurd

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| November 19, 2013

I made it a point the other day in one of my articles to remark on how expensive smartphones are. For the majority of people they are. Smartphones cost a good chunk of money that will make a nice little dent in the wallet or bank account, especially when buying one full price. Flagship smartphones are generally the biggest offenders, sometimes costing as much as $849 for an unsubsidized device (such as the 64GB iPhone 5s). But hey, at least if you decide to pay that much for an unsubsidized phone you're getting more memory out of it and aren't subject to contract terms with any carrier, which is nice certainly and worth the price for some people.

Then you have phones that are expensive for no good reason at all. I mean, I guess there's a reason, but there are some things in life that serve no real purpose. The BlackBerry Porsche Design P9982 phone is just one of those things in my opinion.

A lot of the time when I write my opinion editorials I'm on the fence about my opinions. And a lot of those times I do feel very indifferent about many arguments that are common in the mobile industry. I have my opinions about platforms and phones every now and then that aren't necessarily in their favor, but generally I will bounce back at a later time and find the good in them. Good examples are subjects like like Windows Phone, BlackBerry or Moto X. But this is one topic that I won't budge about, and that's this whole bit of having a premium designed phone that doesn't serve any purpose other than looking good. And there are a few reasons for this.

Now, I'm not one to tell people what they can and can't do with their money. If you have enough money to buy the BlackBerry Porsche Design P9982 and that kind of thing appeals to you, then by all means go out and buy it. But I can guarantee that even by paying the whopping $2,258 handset that today's technology is still in the state where if you don't put a case on your phone and you drop that sucker that screen has a very, very good chance of breaking. And then what? That's probably the most expensive brick that you'll ever end up owning. Or maybe not, but it will certainly be up there.

Then you have the case and point where if you decide to go ahead and put a case on your shiny expensive new piece of hardware, what exactly did you pay for? You paid for a phone that looks nice, and yes, it has some extra storage. The BlackBerry Porsche Design P9982 is a fancier BlackBerry Z10, the first BlackBerry 10 device on the market. The design was upgraded on the P9982 to be made with stainless steel and leather. To be quite frank, the design is very beautiful. I find it comparable to that of the HTC One, but of course stainless steel and leather are leagues above aluminum. But do I really think that it's worth that much extra money for luxury? Not in the least, and especially not if you end up covering it up.

I have said in the past that I thought design is important, but I've also followed up that opinion by saying that design is not the only feature in a phone that's important. The fact that the Porsche Design phone is running under BlackBerry of all platforms is probably another reason why the idea of a $2,258 phone doesn't sound like a very good idea. Although I like BlackBerry and would hate to see it go, the fact of the matter is that BlackBerry is in such a weird, seemingly unstable place at the moment that it doesn't seem like a terribly great idea to invest that much in a device that might not see many updates in the future. And I use the term "might" very loosely here, because I honestly don't know. 

But even if it was running on a more solid platform such as Android or iOS, I just personally don't see the appeal in paying so much money for a well-designed phone. A phone is constantly in your hands, and for the most part everybody is so concerned with their own phone in their own hand that nobody is going to give a flying front door about anybody else's phone all that often. To me it doesn't seem like the same as purchasing a luxury car for the social status. I'm always looking at other cars while driving, and yes, I might take note of how nice a car looks simply because I have to pay attention to them. But as for phones, I don't generally notice how posh somebody else's phone is. I just don't, and I would hate for somebody to pay so much money for a fancy phone that most people probably aren't going to notice.

And that's why I think that luxury designed phones that cost an absurd amount of money for no good reason is absurd, but of course that's just my opinion on the subject. Now it's your turn, readers. What are your thoughts about phones made purely for design purposes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Images via Tinhte, N4BB