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Top 10 Most Expensive Luxury Phones Ever Sold as of 2024: Market, Brands & Prices

A new top-of-the-range iPhone or Samsung handset is not exactly what you’d call cheap. However, when you compare those models to the most expensive phones in the world, they seem like an absolute bargain. Welcome to the wild and opulent world of luxury mobile phones.


The luxury mobile phone market

The luxury mobile phone market

image credit: Kārlis Dambrāns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/janitors/)


The luxury smartphone market is worth around $618 million dollars each year, with a compound annual growth rate of about 4%. As such, according to experts, the value of the sector will be around $890 million by 2024. 

But what do we mean when we talk about the luxury smartphone market? Let’s find out.


What exactly counts as a luxury phone?


Now, while a market size of $618 million may not seem like a massive industry, it’s a matter of definition. Indeed, there isn’t a great deal of consensus about what should be considered a luxury phone. Some people might think that spending over $1000 automatically places a product into the luxury category. However, the truth is a little more complicated.

According to Cognitive Market Research, the luxury mobile phone market is split into two groups: smartphones and dumbphones.


1. Smartphones:


Smartphones in this sector are similar to the ones we have in our pockets. However, they are made with high-end technologies and have features such as “high-resolution displays, powerful processors, exceptional camera capabilities, and access to a wide range of apps and services.”

However, what gives these handsets their incredible price is the inclusion of luxurious materials, such as precious metals, gemstones, and other high-quality materials. Overall, these phones are pretty exclusive and unique, which explains their appeal.


2. Dumbphones:


Dumbphones, on the other hand, are not technologically advanced. Also referred to as feature phones, they are stripped back and have basic features for calls and texts. While the overall market share for these phones is going down by 5% each year, the rise of concepts like “digital detoxing” means these devices are becoming popular in Western countries. 

Indeed, per the Cognitive Market Research report listed above, the luxury Dumbphone market is growing. Handsets in this category are designed to an incredible degree, with top-quality materials and stunning finishes.


What are the characteristics of a luxury mobile phone?


So, what makes the most expensive cellphone in the world different from a top-of-the-range iPhone or Samsung? Well, we can answer that by exploring three different categories:


  • Exclusivity
  • Security and privacy
  • Productivity


Let’s look at each one separately.


1. Exclusivity and high-end materials


One thing the most expensive phones in the world have in common is design. These devices are aesthetically pleasing, featuring premium materials like gold or other precious metals, diamonds, and even crocodile skin.

Moreover, the craftsmanship is often exquisite, making these handsets stand out from typical devices.

Another thing that could make a device a candidate for the most valuable phone in the world is a collaboration with a luxury brand or designer. These devices can also include customizations, engravings, bespoke finishes, and so on.


2. Security and privacy


Luxury phones can also focus on more practical matters, such as privacy and security. Some of the features here include things like advanced encryption settings to ensure calls, texts, and data are not vulnerable to hacks or data leaks. Indeed, one of the handsets on our most expensive cell phone in the world list used cryptography to protect user data, while some of these phones offer access to private communication channels or networks with high levels of encryption. 

Finally, there are phones with physical security features, too. Some of the features here include things like panic buttons, self-destruct mechanisms, or tamper-proof cases. While the average citizen may have little use for these features, they are liked by prominent security-conscious business people in specific regions and probably James Bond.


3. Productivity


The last category is something that could perhaps justify the price of the most expensive cell phone in the world: productivity and convenience. Some of these features include access to highly advanced and personalized AI assistants, industry-focused features to facilitate secure data transfers and access to concierge services. 

So, while there are novel and cutting-edge things happening in the space, it’s worth noting that the most costliest phone in the world doesn’t have many special functionalities that are not available in a new iPhone. Andy Warhol once said of America that from the richest consumer to the man on the street, everyone drinks the same Coca-Cola. In some ways, this is similar to luxury phones. However, the obvious exception is design materials. 


Factors affecting growth in the luxury phone market


Lamborghini mobile featured by www.nbsp.verta.net, an established London pawnbroker with its main pawn shop in London, Bond Street


So, now you should have a better idea of what it is that separates the luxury phone market from the still expensive and high-end, but not strictly luxury, smartphone market. 

With a 4% CAGR forecasted for luxury phones, it’s time to explore the factors that could affect the market over the next few years. 


1. High-net-worth individuals (HNWIs)


Up until around 2022, the number of global high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) was on the rise. However, a report by Capgemini in 2023 suggests that the number of HNWIs had decreased by around 3%.

The global economic slowdown and tailwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic are at play here. However, when the economy bounces back, the number will increase again, and so too will the demand for luxury phones.


2. Rising demand for luxury goods


Demand for luxury goods is still rising. While projections may not be where they were a few years ago, the emergence of an affluent middle class in China and India could have a serious impact on the luxury phones market.


3. Collaborations


More collaborations between luxury brands and credible manufacturers are happening more often, such as Dolce & Gabbana x Goldgenie, Chanel x Huawei, or Vertu x Bentley. These highly exclusive and desirable collaborations could cement interest in luxury phones and pump market growth.


Top luxury mobile brands


Before we share our list of the most expensive phones in the world, we should look at some of the big players in the space. These are a mix of well-known brands in both the technology and luxury goods sectors. 



The luxury mobile phone market

Vertu is perhaps the most well-known name in the luxury mobile phone space. While they may not have produced the most costliest phone in the world, they were one of the first movers in the space and grew out of the once-dominant Nokia brand.

Indeed, Vertu was a subsidiary of Noka, which was once so dominant that it held 40% of the mobile market share at its peak. In 1998, Nokia set up Vertu to offer luxury phones that combined top-tier design with the best and most advanced technology. 

Throughout the 2000s, the brand released some luxury phones like the Signature, The Ascent, and Constellation. However, after being acquired by a venture capital firm, EQT VI, in 2012, they began a new era. The firm pivoted to smartphones running on Android but with the extra plush materials. The Aster (2015) and the Signature Touch (2017) were both popular models.

Bankruptcy and a legal battle over ownership arrived before the turn of the century. Since then, the company has risen from the ashes in the APAC region. There is a fascinating long read on the brand by Brandon Donnelly that provides more details about the past, present, and future of the brand.


Tonino Lamborghini

Lamborghini mobile featured by www.nbsp.verta.net, an established London pawnbroker with its main pawn shop in London, Bond Street

Some car companies like Lamborghini are planning on redefining the luxury phone market with pieces that are advanced with “classic Italian design”, just like their cars, no? In an enlightening interview with Tonino Lamborghini, he recalls his position, which he takes pleasure in being completely separate from the petrol-fueled world associated with the supercar industry. On why he decided to start his company – Tonino Lamborghini Style and Accessories – in 1981, he said:

“I was working with my father for the family business when I felt the need to do something of my own, different from the world of cars and engines. I recognized that I had an important name that would help me in this venture, but I also had strong ideas, great ambition, and flair, which I knew would help me succeed. 

I really liked brands such as Gucci and Hermès and was inspired by them to create similar products under the Tonino Lamborghini brand. Just like Gucci was inspired by the equestrian world with iconic elements such as a bracket or bite, I took inspiration from cars and incorporated elements such as the bearing, the piston rod, and the suspensions into my designs.”

In such a competitive market, companies must really innovate to produce something unique and stand out from the rest of this luxury sector. All these companies cite superior craftsmanship and materials as being paramount to their feel as a luxury mobile phone technology. Lamborghini says that their phones are targeted at the young, successful, and self-confident. Those who are far from being stereotypes, prefer a unique style through sophisticated Italian design but most of all do not compromise on functionality and specification.” 

It seems that the tech materials in Antares, which look incredible, match this craftsmanship with the best materials to create something exceptionally appealing for the young and successful.



Goldgenie is not a luxury mobile phone manufacturer, but it is an important part of the sector. Their USP is that they take existing phones, like iPhones and Samsungs, and plate them in gold or platinum and even diamonds. 

In some ways, Goldgenie can be seen as a customization. Their cheapest model is dipped in 24k carat gold and costs at least $4,000. However, the diamond-encrusted versions can go for huge sums, as you’ll see below.

Stuart Hughes

Stuart Hughes is a designer who makes customized laptops, gadgets, and mobile phones. He is responsible for the second most costly phone in the world, the iPhone 4S Elite Gold. While that piece went for almost $10 million, it’s not the only highest-priced phone customization he has made over the years. Indeed, his name is attached to many phones in our top 10 list.



Russian brand Caviar makes incredible and ostentatious iPhone customizations. Some of its most interesting pieces include iPhones with a Rolex Daytona, moonrock, solar panel chargers, or genuine Tyrannosaurus Rex teeth. Wild stuff. Their typical piece goes for just under $10,000.



Goldvish was formed in 2005 in Switzerland. The brand is known for its luxury watches and smartphones, next-level craftsmanship, and use of premium materials. Hand-made in La Chaux-de-Fonds by experienced artisan workers, these limited edition handsets go for around $6000 to $10,000 as standard. While watches are Goldvish’s main stock in trade, its luxury mobile phone range is considered among the best for people who want quality and performance.


Noteable luxury phone manufacturers of the past


While the above brands are the major players in the 2024 luxury phone game, there are some companies who have ventured into the market over the years with mixed results. While not all of these brands struck metaphorical gold, they made exciting contributions within the space that can’t be overlooked.


1. Tag Heuer

Legendary watchmakers Tag Heuer ventured into the luxury smartphone space with their 2008 collaboration with Meridiist. The result was phones that cost around $5,000, but didn’t quite have the technical specifications to really catch fire.


2. Aston Martin

The British car manufacturer collaborated with Motorola on some limited-run mobile phones around 2005. Based on the V600 model, these custom phones feature plush materials and the Aston Martin logo. Some versions go for $10,000 or more.


3. Porsche

The iconic Italian carmaker collaborated with Blackberry and Huawei between 2011 and 2016, releasing limited edition phones that have gone on to become collector’s items priced well over $1,000 per handset. 



10 most expensive luxury mobiles ever

sold worldwide as of 2024


Now, it’s what you all came for: the answer to the question, what is the most expensive cellphone in the world?


#1. Falcon Supernova iPhone 6 Pink Diamond – $48.5m

The Falcon Supernova is a one-off iPhone 6 of incredible luxury. Made over 10 weeks by skilled artists, the phone case is 24k gold. However, it’s the flawless 2.7-carat pink diamond that makes it the most costly phone in the world.

The Supernova was sold in 2014 for $48.5 million. That day, it became, and still is, the most expensive phone on earth. There was only one Supernova made. It was purchased by a mystery buyer, and to this day, its whereabouts are unknown. 

Some news reports suggest the owner is noted Indian socialite Nita Ambani. However, these rumors have yet to be confirmed. For now, it’s hard to see how its record as the most expensive cell phone in the world will be beaten.


#2. Stuart Hughes iPhone 4S Elite Gold – $9.4m

Stuart Hughes iPhone 4S Elite Gold is marketed as the “most expensive mobile phone in the world.” While its $9.4 million price tag means it lags behind the Falcon Supernova iPhone 6, it was the highest-priced phone of all time for a few years.

The iPhone 4S Elite Gold was released in 2012 when the iPhone 4 was the latest Apple phone. Only two models were ever made, one of which was allegedly used by Roman Abramovich. 

Stuart Hughes and his team spared no expense when making this piece. It was made from platinum and 24k gold and has over 500 flawless diamonds. The Apple logo on the phone is made from 50 diamonds, and users can alternate between a home button that is an 8.6-carat diamond or a 7.4-carat pink diamond.


#3. Stuart Hughes iPhone 4 Diamond Rose – $8m

The third most costliest phone in the world is another piece by legendary designer Stuart Hughes. Made a few years before the iPhone 4S Elite Gold, it briefly held the title of the most expensive phone in the world when it sold for almost $8 million in 2010.

The phone was made over the course of a few months. In truth, it’s more of a work of art than it is a phone because its 18-carat gold body and 500-encrusted diamonds make it fairly weighty while also fragile. The home button is a 7.4kt flawless pink diamond, which raises the exclusivity to new levels.

Only two of these handsets were ever made. One is owned by Australian businessman Tony Sage. Indeed, the A-League football club Perth Glory is said to have commissioned the piece. As part of Hughes’s service, the phone can be customized to the owner’s preference, with the promise of a further design or even initials. At $8 million for a smartphone, you might expect some extras.


#4. Goldstriker iPhone 3Gs Supreme – $3.2m

Stuart Hughes has another entry to the most expensive telephone list. This time, it’s an iPhone 3 from 2009. Because it’s a Stuart Hughes piece, you’ll know the drill. It’s 22-carat solid gold and weighs 371 grams, which is almost triple the weight of a standard iPhone. Of course, the similarities don’t stop there. 

Similar to his iPhone 4 and 6 versions, the Apple logo is made from over 50 diamonds, and the home button is a flawless 7.1-carat diamond. The 7kg holding case is impressive in and of itself. It’s made from solid granite and features Kashmir gold and top-grain leather.

Only two of these pieces were ever made, making it so rare and exclusive that it was capable of fetching $3.2 million. However, in truth, they are unique because one is made from white gold while the other is formed from pink gold. It is said that an Australian business purchased the white gold version, while the rose gold version is rumored to have been bought by the American rapper Flo Rida.


#5.  iPhone 3G Kings Button – $2.5m

The Goldstriker iPhone 3Gs Supreme isn’t the only iPhone 3 that makes our most valuable phone in the world list. The Austrian jeweler Peter Aloisson created one in 2009 that blended yellow, white, and rose gold with 138 brilliant diamonds. However, what really makes the handset stand out, and also gives it the name Kings Button, is the 6.6-carat diamond home button.

While it has since been surpassed, in 2009, this handset went for around $2.5 million, making it the most costliest phone in the world at the time. Aloisson has a well-earned reputation as a luxury phone designer and was the creator of the first million-pound phone in 2006. 

It’s estimated that between 5 and 10 of these phones have ever been made. Each was handcrafted in Austria and comes with customization options that make them unique. The release of these special phones coincided with the height of the iPhone’s popularity, with celebrities such as Jay Z and Beyonce rumored to have purchased the stunning handsets.


#6. Diamond Crypto Smartphone – $1.3m


Peter Aloisson also made the Diamond Crypto Smartphone. Upon release in 2006, it was the height of mobile phone luxury with a $1.3 million price tag to match, which made it the most expensive phone on earth.

What’s interesting about this phone is that it wasn’t just about fashion and exclusivity. It also had a practical edge that made it appealing to the super-rich. As the name suggests, security was a significant feature of this handset. While some may confuse the Crypto moniker to mean the volatile blockchain-based money, it actually refers to cryptology. 

The data security aspects of the phone were never explicitly revealed, leading many to speculate about what type of privacy the owners could expect. Rumors were rife at the time, with some people suggesting it had bulletproof glass while others suggested it was capable of self-destruction. Made of gold, platinum, and 78 diamonds, self-destruction is not an option you’d like to use without very good reason.


#7. Goldvish Le Million – $1.2 

Also released in 2006, the Goldvish Le Million briefly held the title of the most expensive phone on earth when it sold for $1.2 million. Made in Switzerland, the Le Millon had a distinctive boomerang shape and was crafted from 18kt solid gold and 120 diamonds of excellent clarity. 

Even at the time, the Le Million was a triumph of form over function and lacked WiFi or web browsing. Only three of the phones were ever made, with two purchased by Russian and Hong Kong businessmen. Rumors suggest the third was never sold.

Goldvish continues to manufacture luxury phones to this day. Some of the brand’s Android-powered, custom-made pieces retail for around $6,000, which, while still eye-wateringly expensive, makes them more attainable than the Le Millon.


#8. Gresso Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot – $1m

The Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot was made by the prominent Swiss firm Gresso in 2005. It wowed the market at the time and took the prize as the most expensive telephone at the time due to its outstanding design features.

The front of the phone featured 45 carats of black diamond, while the back was made from 200-year-old African blackwood. Only three were ever made, with each featuring a unique number on the back and coming with a pair of diamond-encrusted headphones.

While the Jackpot version went for $1 million, there was a more affordable option called the Luxor Las Vegas. These handsets were available for $20,000, but uptake was slow. In part, this was due to the specs of the phone being a little underwhelming. This era was a time of great progress in the mobile phone market, which meant the Luxor Las Vegas was soon obsolete. 


#9. iPhone 15 Pro Diamond Snowflake Edition- $562,000

The Russian brand Caviar has built its name by making outrageous customizations of iPhone and Samsung phones. In 2023, they unveiled the iPhone 15 Pro Diamond Snowflake Edition, a collaboration with British jewelry designer Graff.

Only three of these phones were ever made, and each one contains a detachable 500 diamond-encrusted platinum and white gold Graff snowflake necklace pendant. These opulent design features mean the price of this stunning iPhone is about $562,000.

Caviar also released a Swarovski crystal version of the same phone, which comes at a more affordable price.


#10. ​​Vertu Signature Cobra – $504,000

Vertu makes it onto our list of the most expensive phones of all time, thanks to the Signature Cobra. It was made by Boucheron, the famous French jewelry designer, and unveiled in 2017. Only 8 of these handsets were ever made, which prolled the Cobra into instant collectible territory.

What’s interesting about the phone is that it is not exactly what you would call high-tech. Indeed, it is what market analysis refers to as a “dumb phone.” There are no camera or recording functions. Essentially, it’s just for calls and texts, which is not a lot of functionality for a $504,000 phone.

That said, the handset features a concierge button that helps you book restaurants or make travel arrangements by pressing the ruby key, which is pretty luxurious.

Of course, we can’t talk about this phone without mentioning the design. It takes its name from the ruby and emerald-covered Cobra snake that wraps itself around the body of the phone. What’s more, the keypad is made from sapphires, while the body uses high-quality materials like titanium, ceramic, and leather.

Distinctive, expensive, and hand-made, the Signature Cobra has gone down in history as a phone of impeccable luxury.


Special mention: Goldvish Revolution – $500,000


The Goldvish Revolution was a limited edition phone released by the high-end brand in 2008. Only 9 of these handsets were ever made, and they quickly garnered a lot of attention due to their unique and innovative properties.

From a luxury goods perspective, the Goldvish had 18-kt white gold and 29 carats of diamond. However, more intriguingly, it also contained a Swiss-made Frederic Jouvenot chronograph watch.

While the phone had high-end specs for the time, it was the exclusive materials and beautiful design that prompted a price of half a million dollars. An instant collector’s item and symbol of wealth, it’s still talked about today by tech enthusiasts.


Final thoughts 

The luxury phone market is an unusual and intriguing place. While spending six or seven figures on a phone that will be outdated in a few years seems strange to most people, it must be remembered that these pieces are so special and unique that they are considered a work of art as well as mobile phones. 

What is interesting to note is that many of the entries of our most expensive phones in the world list are clustered around the 2006 to 2015 mark. This analysis suggests that the record-breaking $1 million plus smartphone market has shifted, with luxury phones now coming with fewer diamonds and more functionality. 

Finally, if you are looking for a loan on luxury assets like watches, jewellery or diamonds, do contact the team at New Bond Street Pawnbrokers!

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