Now that Apple’s champagne-colored iPhone 5S has ushered in an era of golden-hued smartphones—Samsung just announced a gold version of its popular Galaxy S4 handset—smartphone maker HTC has upped the ante by manufacturing five editions of its One handset using real gold.
Produced to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the MOBO Awards, which recognizes black artists and musicians in the United Kingdom, HTC UK will present the Gold HTC One to the winner of Best Newcomer category sponsored by HTC at this year's ceremony in Glasgow, Scotland.
The most exclusive and expensive smartphone ever created by the company has a value of about $4,400 and was crafted in partnership with Goldgenie founder Laban Roomes.
To achieve the luxury look, the zero gap unibody of the One on the front and back is plated in 18-carat gold—24 carat indicates pure gold. The plating is then polished to give a refined finish, and a special MOBO 18 logo is laser etched on the rear of the device.
"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," Phil Blair, HTC president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a statement. "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."
The Gold HTC One includes all the performance of the standard One handset, including BlinkFeed, Zoe and BoomSound. The One was developed with a major emphasis on unique hardware and software features including a unibody aluminum frame, a 1080p full-HD display, dual front-facing stereo speakers, a camera with a custom image sensor and the ability to automatically generate montages of media.
"MOBO turning 18 is a huge achievement and a special time for us," Kanya King MBE, founder of the MOBO Awards, said in a statement. "The 18-carat Gold HTC One phone is a great addition to our coming-of-age celebrations and helps add MOBO glitz to the proceedings."
While HTC is going for the most exclusive market possible with the limited edition Gold HTC One, it is simultaneously making plans to expand into one of the world’s largest emerging markets—India—where it hopes to grow its market share 15 percent by introducing new products, expanding distribution networks and increasing the number of service centers.