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French luxury-goods company Christian Dior SA Wednesday will unveil a line of mobile phones, extending beyond its traditional fashion business to boost sales, particularly with brand-hungry consumers in new markets such as China and Russia.
Besides the standard cellphone features (touchscreen, camera, multimedia) the Dior phone comes with a unique miniature sidekick, about the size of a USB key, which clips to the outside of a bag for easier access. The tiny companion device, which is dubbed My Dior, communicates with the main phone so that you can pick up or make calls with My Dior, and use the main phone for more complicated functions. It almost sounds like a fashionable bluetooth set that won’t make you look funny.
The new Dior phone — priced from €3,500, or $5,000, and up — comes after competitors such as Prada SpA and Dolce & Gabbana have turned their fashion-branded mobile phones into significant businesses.
Dior’s new phone — which will work world-wide, except in Japan and Korea, where it isn’t compatible with local wireless networks — is priced higher than rival fashion phones, closer to the price range of Nokia Corp.’s premium line Vertu, which also starts in the $5,000 range. Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Giorgio Armani SpA all have phones out that cost around $600.