Fashion Phones are expected to continue being a hot item in years to come. "There will be sufficient consumer demand to support the sale of 23 million fashion handsets by 2010", or so it is predicted by London based, research consulting firm ARCchart. A fashion handset is one where the consumer's purchase decision is based primarily on the aesthetics of the device.
“In an age of standardized handset platforms, it is increasingly difficult for Tier One vendors to differentiate their products by simply adding enhanced technology features” says Matt Lewis, ARCchart Senior Analyst. “For the consumer faced with a range of seemingly identical devices from a technical perspective, the aesthetics of a device can generate an emotional response to which they will ascribe a value and for which they will pay a premium.”
They support their research with examples of fashion phones by Anna Sui, Vivienne Westwood and other designers that have applied their designs to fashion handsets. "The handset travels everywhere with the owner, becoming an outward and visible statement of the owner's taste and values". Their report " Fashion and Style in the Mobile Handset Industry" examines the fashion and style strategies employed by handset vendors. It would be very interesting to find out the inside skinny on this industry, but the report is only for sale. Phones pictured are only prototypes.