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Store Adds Donald Trump's Picture To $150,000 Gold-Encased iPhones (cnn.com) 186

An anonymous reader quotes CNN's report about an iPhone 7 "encased in solid gold, encrusted with diamonds and bearing the face of Donald Trump." Priced around $151,000, it's just one example of the mind-blowing bling sold by Goldgenie, a store in the United Arab Emirates where the super rich do their shopping. "There are very wealthy, high-net-worth individuals all over the world and sometimes its very difficult to buy gifts for them because they have everything," said Frank Fernando, Goldgenie's managing director... But the phones are far from the most expensive item on sale. A gold-plated racing bike will set you back about $350,000. If you're thinking no one would buy a $150,000 Trump phone, think again. In the last month, they've sold ten of them.
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Store Adds Donald Trump's Picture To $150,000 Gold-Encased iPhones

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'll buy the next ten - V. I. Putin

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Gold is still such a powerful symbol to them.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday December 24, 2016 @08:13PM (#53549959)

    sold by Goldgenie, a store in the United Arab Emirates

    I guess all of the Hillary ones they had printed up earlier must be selling at a nice discount now!

  • by tempo36 ( 2382592 ) on Saturday December 24, 2016 @08:19PM (#53549969)

    For when you're really rich and want to make absolutely 100% sure that everyone knows you'd rather spend your money on displays of wealth than anything remotely beneficial to anyone else.

    (p.s. Remember, when we help the wealthy make more money, they become JOB CREATORS!)

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday December 24, 2016 @08:45PM (#53550089)

      For when you're really rich and want to make absolutely 100% sure that everyone knows

      If you are really "super-rich", you prefer to keep a lower profile. The big market for "bling" is for posers and wannabes. Do you see Bill Gates or Warren Buffett displaying bling? I have actually met a few billionaires (David Filo, Jerry Yang, Larry Page, Sergey Brin). They were wearing jeans and sneakers or sandals. No bling.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Do you see Bill Gates or Warren Buffett displaying bling? I have actually met a few billionaires (David Filo, Jerry Yang, Larry Page, Sergey Brin). They were wearing jeans and sneakers or sandals. No bling.

        It's anti-bling. When you're at that level, you can wear anything you want. Walking into a business meeting where I have to wear a suit, they can show up in jeans and a T-shirt because of who they are. I walk in wearing jeans and a T-Shirt folks will wonder who the hell do I think I am.

        Only a billionaire can look like a slob and be taken seriously. See what I mean?

        Another example is this restaurant in Greenwich, CT. Suit and Tie for everyone BUT Paul Newman when he was alive. He wore jeans, shirt and co

        • Do you see Bill Gates or Warren Buffett displaying bling? I have actually met a few billionaires (David Filo, Jerry Yang, Larry Page, Sergey Brin). They were wearing jeans and sneakers or sandals. No bling.

          It's anti-bling. When you're at that level, you can wear anything you want. Walking into a business meeting where I have to wear a suit, they can show up in jeans and a T-shirt because of who they are. I walk in wearing jeans and a T-Shirt folks will wonder who the hell do I think I am.

          So what does that tell us about the blingest (blingyest?) (self declared) rich person in the world?

      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday December 24, 2016 @10:10PM (#53550273)

        Totally different market, totally different mindset. To understand how this works, you'd first of all have to understand the mentality of the target audience.

        In the UAE, if you're wealthy and want to "count", you have to show that you have the money. Actually, you have to show that money is so unimportant to you that you can throw it away. And that's best done by buying shit nobody that actually values money would buy. It takes a while to get used to this, but once you understand how status works in that area, the whole insanity starts to make a lot of sense. What matters is not what you do, but how. You have to make a phone call, but you do it on a 150k phone. You have to go somewhere, but you have to drive there with a Ferrari. And of course it has to be some limited edition, because everyone and their dog can simply buy a Ferrari.

        You're dealing with people who have a completely different idea of status. In the US, being rich means that you buy a football team because that is somehow an investment. Or you do charity because that allows you to connect with people. Or you do anything else that actually has at least a side benefit. Over there, status is measured by being able to simply throw away money for no tangible return. And to show that you can throw away money, you need to show off crap that is insanely expensive but has no "real" net benefit. A normal iPhone makes calls just as well as the 150k version, but that 150k version shows that you can throw those 150k away without getting anything in return.

        • by guises ( 2423402 )
          I have a little question for you, just something that I've been curious about: why do police in Dubai drive really expensive sports cars? They're Lamborghinis and such, but not all the same - high-end sports cars from a bunch of different manufacturers. How does that fit in to this mindset?
          • How else can they keep up with the criminals in sports cars in a car chase?

          • I have a little question for you, just something that I've been curious about: why do police in Dubai drive really expensive sports cars? They're Lamborghinis and such, but not all the same - high-end sports cars from a bunch of different manufacturers. How does that fit in to this mindset?

            http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/04/2013411112032382393.html [aljazeera.com]

            But the green-and-white car will probably not be roaring after law breakers in Dubai, an emirate in which local media said 33 people had been killed in car accidents in the first two months of this year.

            will be mostly dispatched to tourist areas to show - in the words of deputy police director General Khamis Matter al-Muzaina - "how classy Dubai is".

            State Bling.

          • Same reason: Respect is earned by bling. You think someone would respect a policeman in a car that doesn't cost even 30k USD? Please. Just because you have flashing lights, why'd anyone stop for you in your toy car?

            And even more important: The police is "owned" by the emir. And of course he has to equip his staff with respectable vehicles. Or can't he afford it?

        • The concept of excessive disposable wealth is not limited to the UAE, it's quite common among Asia too. It's basically a show of financial wealth that exudes a demigod level of power and status; as if they could own any bitch ass with a snap of the finger. But ironically, these are also the best customers. More often than not, they're not very selective of the pedigree of the seller. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE could open a storefront and sell overpriced crap under the guise of "exclusive" and "limited". Ulti

        • by gtall ( 79522 )

          Well, that explains their support for Daesh and al Qaeda.

      • because they're still in a position where their grotesque wealth might be taken away if anyone took the time to notice. In the UAE they just brutally repress their populations. I suspect sooner or later the Larry Page's and Gates of the world will get around to doing the same to us if we let them, and judging from the results of the last election we're going to... :(.
      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday December 24, 2016 @10:42PM (#53550369) Homepage Journal

        When I worked in the non-profit sector I had some old-money (literally came over on the Mayflower types) trust fund kids working for me. I visited their parents' houses and they were full of treasures, but not bling. You had to stop and look to realize that the table you were sitting at was 250 years old or the portrait of great-grandpa hanging int he stairway was painted by John Singer Sergeant. I noticed in one dining room that the side board had a massive cast iron base; when I asked about it, I was told it was the 12.7 liter inline eight cylinder engine from a 1931 Bugatti Royale. When I expressed interest in that I was then shown what looked like a child's toy ride-in car under the piano in the living room, and was told was a tiny but fully functional automobile that had been hand built by Ettore Bugatti himself.

        I mean, geez, it's not something anyone actually would have a use for, but as pointless things go it was literally a wonder.

        After seeing the ancestral houses I can kind of understand the contempt people like the Boston Brahmins and Philadelphia Main Liners have for the nouveau riche; it's like these people were brought up in a museum full of exquisite and historically significant things. A lot like it in fact; in a way they're more like caretakers than owners, handing stuff they got from their distant ancestors down to their descendants.

        • I'm not going to defend conspicuous consumptions, but at least the things you mentioned the old-money types buying and owning have some inherent value. The old table is a durable and well-built piece of handwork that has stood the test of time. The painting was a genuine work of art that probably took the artist a significant amount of time and skill to paint. The bigass engine could be considered a work of engineering art in itself, once it had finished serving its original purpose. The child's toy car was

    • by shanen ( 462549 )

      Insightful? If I ever got a mod point to give, yours would have been funny, for sure, for sure.

      Anyway, I keep trying to imagine some constructive response to the Donald. This [the extremely conspicuous consumption topic of the article] was not it.

      On the one hand, I want to regard Trump as a short term problem. Excellent chance he'll get Bill-Cosby-ed out of office within a few months. If he lives up to his Gettysburg promise and sues all of them, then he'll be forced to confess or perjure himself. If he doe

      • I have a hard time seeing Trump run in 2020, but if it happens I doubt even he's daft enough to make Ivanka his running mate. The reality is that she is going to be functioning as his First Lady, since it's pretty clear his wife has no interest in a full time White House residency.

        • by shanen ( 462549 )

          Hmm... I hadn't really thought about that angle of approach because I don't regard the First Lady as having much importance. I'd even say that was a negative factor on Hillary's resume, but in Trump's case I can now see how he would tout it as a qualification for naming her as VP.

          I can sympathize with your having a hard time imaging him running in 2020. I still can't believe he ran seriously this year.

          I'm TUSAD now. (Trump-Underlying Stress Anxiety Disorder)

          • by gtall ( 79522 )

            It is possible that Trump self-implodes after he finds that no one believes anything he says due his rather mystical relationship with facts and truth.

            There's another affect of Trump. He is addicted to publicity. The way he gets it is by making outrageous statements and then roils things further by his over-the-top responses. After awhile, he'll have run out of big ticket concepts he can stick pins into, news organizations will become jaded with covering his inane pronouncements as "There he goes again". Wh

            • by shanen ( 462549 )

              Most of your criticisms sound quite applicable to Dubya, but I'm still reserving judgment on the "real" Donald. At first I dismissed his lies as low level and low caliber, but now I'm not sure.

              By low level and low caliber, I mean Level 0 lies of self-contradiction and Level 1 lies of counterfactual statements. Such lies are easily recognized and only work with suckers who want to be deceived. Maybe Trump only resorts to those lies for appropriate audiences and he is capable of higher level lies. I haven't d

      • I want to regard Trump as a short term problem.

        The "Trump" phenomenon is as old as the hills, like France's Le Pen, and the Philippines' Duterte, and a host of other right wing nationalists. He's just today's face.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      For when you're really rich and want to make absolutely 100% sure that everyone knows you'd rather spend your money on displays of wealth than anything remotely beneficial to anyone else.

      "Peacocking" is indeed an evolutionary trait. By showing that you have so much resources that you can waste some on frivolity, you show that you have more than enough resources to raise offspring.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday December 24, 2016 @08:19PM (#53549971)
    is why I'm a socialist. Let capitalism run wild and we'll spend our resources on crap like this instead of Ebola vaccines. And don't say it's a false dichotomy. We are nowhere near ready as a civilization to support this level of veblen goods and a decent standard of living for the remaining 99%. Hell, in my country we'll still arguing over who's gonna pay for type-I diabetics to have insulin...
    • is why I'm a socialist. Let capitalism run wild and we'll spend our resources on crap like this instead of Ebola vaccines.

      Except that we now have an Ebola vaccine, and it was developed by capitalists.

      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday December 24, 2016 @09:46PM (#53550221) Homepage Journal

        The scientists in the Public Health Agency of Canada [wikipedia.org] are capitalists?

        • This (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday December 24, 2016 @09:54PM (#53550241)
          so much this. People don't realize that just about every major health initiative is funded by the gov't. The basic science in particular all gets done by the gov't because it's not profitable enough quick enough to attract investors. Then a corp moves in, do cheap the finishing touches to turn it into a product and sell back the public works to us.
          • And the government is funded by capitalism. It takes both to make things work.

          • It not so much about being "profitable quick enough". It's that the investment would all be by one company, but the rewards would be spread out over many companies (since the intellectual knowledge acquired is not practical enough to be patentable). So it wouldn't be profitable for any particular company, no matter how long they wait.

            This is a case of "externality", which is one of the few cases where even many libertarians would admit that government involvement is justified.

            • there's plenty to be patented. There just isn't a lot of money to be made in vaccine invention. It takes billions. The money is in manufacturing them _after_ all the work is done. This is painfully obvious.

              That's the trouble with libertarians. They're not anti-government, they're anti-"The Kind of government I don't like". They're cheerfully in favor of government as long as it does what they want it to do. And they'll cheerfully crap all over freedom when it's in their interests. There's basically two
        • by shanen ( 462549 )

          Well, if it had been sufficiently profitable, then you can bet the capitalists drug companies would have been all over it!

          Unfortunately, one-shot cures and vaccines are much less profitable than developing drugs for chronic and incurable diseases.

          • Well, if it had been sufficiently profitable, then you can bet the capitalists drug companies would have been all over it!

            Merck has licensed the technology and is currently commercializing it.

            • by shanen ( 462549 )

              Well, if it had been sufficiently profitable, then you can bet the capitalists drug companies would have been all over it!

              Merck has licensed the technology and is currently commercializing it.

              So the obvious question is whether they got an exclusive license, or even control over any patents involved. Or maybe they don't care that much since the risky and expensive parts are already taken care of?

          • Plenty of deseases are cureable. But the medical industrial complex wants to keep you dependened on drugs. E.g. those many psychopharmaca or the time when they claimed ulkus was not treatable while in fact it is just a bacteria or diabetes (not sure if it is type I or II, one is healabke with diet changes, the other one with transplants and or diet changes).

        • The scientists in the Public Health Agency of Canada [wikipedia.org] are capitalists?

          Canada is a capitalist country. So, yes, this research was paid for by capitalists. If socialism actually worked, we would see all the big medical breakthroughs coming from Cuba and North Korea.

          To get back to refuting the GPP's point, Canada certainly didn't fund this by outlawing "bling".

          • First of all, North Korea is not socialistic. They are a military dictatorship, in case you lived the last 50 years under the rock. I believe they even call them self communists ... but well a dictator can call his reign how ever he wants and is not oblieged to use the words in the way the dictionary defines them. Also I bet the markets in NK are pretty capitalistic ...

            And secondly: plenty of medical innovation indeed comes from Cuba. You indeed live under a rock, do you?

          • by hey! ( 33014 )

            Well, if you search for the right definition you can make any statement true-ish.

            By "capitalist" I mean someone who supports himself by investing in assets as opposed to someone who supports himself by labor. I'm not including everybody who might think that free markets are a good idea for some things.

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      Well, grasshopper, socialism has been such a raging success that countries the world over are adopting it. Forgetting that it leads to authoritarianism in many cases, it doesn't generate higher living standards. Ah, but you say "Sweden". Look at Sweden a bit more closely and you'll see them giving up their socialist mantra in favor of free market reforms. They started doing that in the 90's when it was clear their economy was circling the toilet bowl. For a faster flush, see Venezuela, and that even with en

    • If socialism is so great then why must it be enforced at gunpoint? If socialism is go great then why is it that so many more patents come from nations with capitalism?

      As with so many things we have to take the bad with the good. People with enough freedom to dedicate their lives to medicine and develop vaccines is also the society that has people free enough to take the money they earned in business and spend it on useless crap like a gold plated iPhone.

  • It's the reason for the season.

  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Saturday December 24, 2016 @08:46PM (#53550095)

    Not sure why this is news, I can probably order a case with anything etched on it, even gold if I want, though platinum turns me on more.

    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      There are places which will throw gold and encrust gems on anything. A few years ago, there was a place selling gold flecks in a capsule so one could have blingy poop.

      The fact that the phone is expensive and has Trump's name on it is notable, but if someone wanted the same thing with someone else's face, I'm sure Goldgenie would be more than happy to do that.

      As for a phone, an iPhone 7 is OK... but if one is going to spend the big bucks, why not a phone from Vertu? Might as well have the name recognition

  • At £9995.00, the gold Mac Book Pro isn't that far off list price... ;)

  • It's as if he weren't expected to win, and they quickly overlaid all the Hillary ones. Then decided to charge $1000 more.

    FYI, that is the way the filthy rich negotiate discounts. They bicker while bringing the price upwards, as onlookers shout their disgust.

  • for an anal dildo.
  • Lord knows I've blown money on overpriced cheap crap before. If $150,000 to them is not much more than $50 in my mind and they're fans of Donald Trump - let them blow their money.

    I do think the conspicuous consumption is a bit perverse though. On this Christmas Eve though, I am thankful for the things I do have and remind myself not to be envious.

    I've got my old Android phone which will never receive another update and I think someone installed systemd on my Windows laptop so I've got that going for me.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday December 24, 2016 @09:47PM (#53550225) Homepage Journal

    Being rich doesn't mean you have taste or sense.

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Saturday December 24, 2016 @10:07PM (#53550271)

    "A gold-plated racing bike will set you back about $350,000"

    And about a few billion brain cells, if you really think adding a layer of heavy metal on a 'racing bike' is a good idea.

    • This is for fans of bike racing, not the people racing.. you think the people racing bikes are billionaires?
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      I used to get things plated with gold so I could see them under a scanning electron microscope. A few grams covers a lot of square metres.
      That isn't saying it's a good idea, just ridiculous for reasons other than weight.
  • .. and then cover it up with an Otterbox case or something
  • by dohzer ( 867770 )

    Why would rich people be able to afford this? Oh... wait....

  • It will become collectable once Trump is impeached.

  • sometimes its very difficult to buy gifts for them because they have everything

    What about buying a grammar checker? ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A nice gold coating on a peasants phone?

  • "What are they thinking *hah*? What are they thinking? They're thinking that it's running out. It's running out, and 90% of what's left is in the Middle East. Look at the progression: Versailles, Suez, 1973, Gulf War 1, Gulf War 2. This is a fight to the death. So what are THEY thinking? Great! They're thinking keep playing, keep buying yourself new toys, keep spending $50,000 a night on your hotel room, but don't invest in your infrastructure... don't build a real economy. So that when you finally wake up,
  • It's a "pussy magnet." All the women will see my yugely best iphone, know I'm a star and let me grab em by the pussy. If not, I'll just go after them like a bitch and, lose all control, pop a few "blue tic-tacs", and start kissin on em. As a Republican in the U.S. I obviously I would buy my gold iphone in a Muslim country because I love them?
  • This promoted item uses country level targeting and triggering and may have been shown to you because of your location and fragile mental state.

    Yeah I noticed that too.

    It's about time a Wookie had broad grassroots support for a clear and decisive win. They're the best damned engineers in the galaxy, loyal and mission-focused to a fault, do not become distracted with petty emotional concerns or shallow drama, If you need to set things right and rebuild your manufacturing base, elect a Wookie to get the job d

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