Optical/IP Networks

The Vertu Vanishes

Well, it had to happen, didn't it?

A $20,000 mobile phone is bound to attract some unsavory types. As racing driver Jay Christian Rado found to his cost when visiting a nightclub in Beautiful Downtown Orlando, Fla.

Yep, Mr. Rado is the first person we've heard of to have his ultra-exclusive Vertu phone nicked. [Ed note: Vertu prefers to refer to its phones as instruments, in the same way that its parent company Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) insists its camera phones are imaging devices. Frankly, that kind of nonsense turns our delicate digestive devices, so we'll stick with calling a phone a phone, thank you very much.]

A police news release helpfully reveals that Mr. Rado's $19,450 model "contains 150 grams of platinum. The keypad numbers are rubies and other jewels. The faceplate is sapphire crystal." So it won't be getting melted down as we speak, oh no!

Since Vertu's launch in January, a few high profile celebs such as Madonna and Gwyneth have acquired the status symbols (see Paltrow's Massive Wedge).

Racy Rado is offering a $2,000 reward -- no questions asked -- for the return of his phone, which will cease to be of any use as a communications device once the battery runs down, as it requires a special charger. However, we suspect (perhaps naïvely, perhaps not) that the flashy little number may not have been "half-inched" by a thief desperate to clock up some time on someone else's phone bill.

In the meantime, our featured crime victim may have to slum it along with the rest of us mortals, and carry something as common as The Hitachi P300 -- though, while the flashing lights might cheer him up, they could also remind him of his December Disco Device Disaster. — Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
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