14 April 2007

Prada goes mobile.

In its latest move designed to enhance its premium portfolio, South Korean electronics company LG and Italian fashion company Prada launched their a high-end luxury handset this week.

Not to be outdone by US competitor Motorola and D&G’s take on the Razr, LG's Prada mobile phone is claimed to be designed in close co-operation with the Prada design team, with both companies teaming up to distribute and market the new handset.

The phone is really a rebadged LG KE850 model but is now officially named the Prada Phone by LG. It supports EDGE connectivity and features a fully touch screen technology, enabling advanced touch interface as well as unique pre-loaded ring tones and content. Priced at around 600 euro, the Prada handset will initially be available in the UK, Germany, France and Italy, with Asian countries to follow. There is no date for either a US or Australian launch.

DIFFUSION doesn't think the Prada phone is designed to take on Vertu’s section of the market in what is a much more differentiated offer. What’s more interesting is LG's claims that Apple swiped the cool design and buttonless features, innovations included in the iPhone, set to launch in the US in June and likely to leave most of the mobile market in its wake. In our mind the Apple and Prada brands are much more aligned by attributes such as design, style and innovation than LG. The Prada phone is at a higher price point than the Apple, though it's likely they will share similar customers. And there is also no indication of what Prada is actually bundling with the new phone (store finders?). Maybe its just content with giving it a lovely Prada gloss.