08
Oct
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There's a trend toward gold-colored smartphones as of late, but none of them are actually made of gold. That would be totally impractical and expensive, right? Exactly. HTC is crafting five HTC One smartphones in 18-carat gold to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the MOBO awards, which recognize black and urban music in the UK. The gold HTC One carries a price tag of £2,750, or about $4400.

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Inside, it's the same HTC One you know and love, but the aluminum outer casing is replaced with a gold-plated wrap. HTC partnered with high-end gold gadget maker Goldgenie to produce the limited-edition gold smartphone.

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One of the five devices will be given to the winner of the MOBO award for Best Newcomer at the October 19th ceremony. That leaves four gold-plated HTC Ones unaccounted for, but it's not clear who's going to get the chance to buy them. Yes, someone will definitely want to buy them. Remember, Vertu is a thing. Full PR is below.

HTC UK launches a real Gold HTC One® to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the MOBO Awards

HTC UK announces a limited edition Gold HTC One in pure 18ct gold

The MOBO Best Newcomer winner will walk away with the most expensive HTC phone ever produced

London, 8 October 2013 — HTC UK, a leader in mobile innovation and design, today announces the release of the Gold HTC One, created using REAL gold. Produced to celebrate the 18th Anniversary of the MOBO Awards, this very limited edition phone will be presented to the winner of Best Newcomer category sponsored by HTC at this year’s ceremony in Glasgow on 19th October.

Valued at £2,750 and with only five in existence, the limited edition Gold HTC One is the most exclusive and expensive smartphone ever created by HTC. It was crafted in partnership with Goldgenie founder Laban Roomes. To achieve this luxury look, the zero gap unibody of the HTC One on the front and back is plated in 18ct gold. It is polished to give a sophisticated finish and a special MOBO 18 logo is laser etched on the rear of the device. These elements come together to create the ultimate recognition for the prestigious music awards show.

The Gold HTC One includes all the performance of the award-winning HTC One, including HTC BlinkFeed™, HTC Zoe™ and HTC BoomSound™, together reinventing the mobile experience and setting a new standard for smartphones.

Phil Blair, HTC President, Europe Middle East and Africa said: "The best artists have always been given gold discs to celebrate their success, but today most people listen to music on their phone. We wanted to celebrate that fact. The award winning HTC One is the gold standard in mobile design and innovation, so it was an obvious choice to make it even more special. We're sure the winning MOBO artist will love their unique phone and we will even be giving a lucky member of the general public the chance to get their hands on one soon too."

Kanya King MBE, founder of the MOBO Awards commented: “MOBO turning 18 is a huge achievement and a special time for us.  The 18ct Gold HTC One phone is a great addition to our coming of age celebrations and helps add MOBO glitz to proceedings!”

You can vote for the winner of Best Newcomer and the recipients of the Gold HTC One on the MOBO website at http://www.mobo.com/voting2013/best-newcomer. In the running are:

  • Daley
  • Elli Ingram
  • Etta Bond
  • Fuse ODG
  • Jacob Banks
  • Jahméne Douglas
  • Krept and Konan
  • Sam Smith
  • Shakka
  • Stylo G

Goldgenie has previously made bespoke phones for Denzel Washington, Will Smith and Kate Moss, but this is the first time they have worked directly with an Android manufacturer.

Since its launch, the HTC One has attracted a host of editorial and industry awards which recognise its superior performance and new benchmark in design. Just last week the HTC One collected Gadget of the Year, Phone of the Year and the Design Award at the T3 Gadget Awards 2013. Other highlights include the GSMA’s Global Mobile Award for Best New Mobile Device or Tablet at Mobile World Congress 2013, Computex Taipei’s Gold Medal in Design and EISA award for Best European Advanced Smartphone 2013-2014.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Herman

    Holy moly it looks like a gold bar itself!
    It actually looks better than the other available colours.

  • Tony

    Actually, why don't they produce them in masses? I bet they could increase their profit margins on that kind of devices and there are a lot of people who would spend their money on that, I bet!

    • jonathan3579

      I hope you're joking...

      • Stylus_XL

        I actually think HTC should invest in producing expensive flashy shit like this and selling it to people with more money than sense. Maybe partner up with a luxury car manufacturer or watch maker to create a limited edition with bleeding edge specs and over-the-top materials. If they threw a couple thousand models at influential celebrities and the 'rich kids of Instagram' bought into it, it would strengthen gravitation towards HTC's brand.

        A few companies have tried this before, but the difference is those phones were always just trash wrapped in a premium shell. HTC knows how to make a very good phone, they just need to improve their marketing nous.

        • jonathan3579

          I see what you're saying but how well did the Louis Vuitton or Prada phones sell? The Porsche BB? I mean, there's a lot of expensive phones out there that I'm sure were failed and/or disappointing products. I can't see HTC having much wiggle room to mass produce these. If they wanted to offer this, they'd be better to have an order form so they're not left with stock that didn't sell.

  • PamelaLibrarian

    Ummm... I actually want this. But I also want the red one. And that gorgeous blue one. Ok, so I want a whole wardrobe of them, I guess. The HTC One just looks so damn gorgeous in colors.

  • ari_free

    HTC needs to learn how to make a phone that will sell to more than 5 people

    • flosserelli

      And the way things are going for HTC, they will probably still lose money on these.

  • Nathaniel Webb

    complete with tramp stamp on back.

  • kabloink

    Gold plating? So, it has about $100 worth of gold thinly applied to the surface.

    • flosserelli

      Yep, I thought the same.

  • Asphyx

    I'll wait for the Gold Samsung S4 with the Magnetron....I have a trip to Vegas planned as soon as it arrives!