For some, Apple’s (s AAPL) $649 unlocked iPhone might seem a little steep. But it sounds like a bargain compared to the new Tag Heuer Link Android smartphone, which will set owners back at least $6,728.
And you thought Android (s GOOG) was getting commoditized. While Android moves down market in emerging countries, it’s also getting the high-end treatment by companies like Tag and Ulysse Nardin, another Swiss watch maker that earlier this year introduced the “Ulysse Nardin Chairman”, an Android device built in conjunction with SCI Innovations that will sell for somewhere between $12,800 and $49,500.
Is there really a market for devices this posh? Apparently, some people think so. I’m not sure how many units you’re going to have move to make this worthwhile. But it shows how Android is able to empower a lot of companies to dabble in the smartphone market, by focusing on what they do best while relying on Google’s operating system to give them something competitive under the hood.
The Tag Heuer Link phone offers modest specs by modern standards: a 3.5-inch (800 x 480) display, 5 megapixel camera, 256MB internal memory, an 8GB memory card and Android 2.2. But the company is looking to appeal to users with the Link’s rugged good looks. The phone comes clad with an array of choice materials, from premium-grade surgical steel, to gold, diamonds and titanium. Owners can also outfit the phone with calfskin leather, carbon leather, alligator and lizard skin. The device is also designed to be rugged and shock proof, and engineered with watch components to be airtight.
Again, not sure how many will buy this when it goes on sale in July. But there’s got to be at least a couple of professional athletes and celebutantes willing to fork over some coin just for its value as a status symbol. With Google hitting half a million Android activations a day, why not take over the super end while they’re at it?