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Samsung Counters With a Gold Phone of Its Own

Samsung Counters With a Gold Phone of Its Own

Courtesy Samsung Gulf via Facebook

Irving Berlin would be so proud.

In the latest version of Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better): Smartphone Edition, Samsung Electronics (005930:KS) has responded to Apple’s (AAPL) gold iPhone with not one, but two golden versions of their flagship Galaxy S4 handset. Initially available only in the United Arab Emirates, oro-seeking plutocrats can pick up either the Gold Pink or Gold Brown editions, which are otherwise stock GS4s with a gold case in back and either a pink or brown face.

Samsung’s Mideast subsidiary, Samsung Gulf, was pleased to announce that the precious-metal smartphones were available on Sept. 8—two days, it notes, before Apple announced its line of updated iPhones. “The 8th comes before the 10th,” the company helpfully reminded us on its Facebook (FB) page.

A tiny sliver of the smartphone market has always catered to the rich and flashy. Vertu—once a subsidiary of Nokia (NOK), now spun off to become an independent company—has been fashioning bejeweled and beplatinumed phones for around a decade. Swiss Watchmaker Ulysses Nardin has made various versions of its Chairman smartphone, the most ridiculous being the diamond editions, which cost $129,000.

But really, why stop there? Why not go all they way to a platinum-and-diamond iPad, which the British luxury retailer Stuart Hughes will sell you for £299,995, or about $482,000. You’ll still need to cough up around $70 a month for a data plan, if that’s not too much to ask.

Grobart is a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek and the managing editor of Bloomberg Digital Video. Follow him on Twitter @samgrobart.

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