For users who love the Galaxy family of smartphones but feel that these devices need a little bit more ‘bling,’ Samsung has released a phone that just may fit the bill — but it’s only available in Thailand. According to IntoMobile, a special Samsung Galaxy S4 Crystal Edition featuring Swarovski crystals can be purchased in Thailand for 20,300 baht (approximately $630 USD). Only 3,500 units of these limited edition phones are available through official Samsung retail outlets in the country.

Not the First International Special Edition

Though a smartphone clad in Swarovski crystals might sound like a once-in-a-lifetime product, these special-edition smartphones are relatively common, especially in overseas markets. In fact, a special Crystal Edition Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini was released in Germany last month. Before that, the Gulf market was treated to a gold version of the Samsung Galaxy S4, according to The Mirror

Could the U.S. See Similar Special Editions?

Limited-edition phones are not as common in the U.S. as they are overseas, so the chances of scoring a Samsung Galaxy S4 Crystal Edition stateside are slim. If you want to refresh your phone’s style, Samsung has released three new color variants for the Galaxy Note 3 this holiday season: Merlot Red, Rose Gold White, and Rose Gold Black.

“Consumers view their mobile devices as an extension of their personal style, and Samsung is committed to delivering fresh ways for consumers to express themselves,” Younghee Lee, executive vice president of Samsung’s Global Marketing IT & Mobile Division, acknowledged in a company press release

Although official special editions are more common overseas, some U.S. vendors are exploring ways to capitalize on a niche luxury market through unauthorized modifications to existing phones. For example, though not officially licensed by Apple, luxury iPhones are a hot specialty item. Computer World has found iPhones that have been custom-fitted with Swarovski crystals, gold plating, and even diamonds. These phones can sell online for hundreds or even thousands of dollars over Apple’s standard suggested price. 

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Crystal Edition certainly is a unique product designed to draw in consumers looking for something that conveys status and luxury. Though it is unlikely to see a U.S. release, the device caters to a luxury audience, and perhaps the U.S. could see something similar in the future.

If a special edition smartphone aimed at the luxury market were to be released in the U.S., what brands and/or styles would you like to see? 

Image courtesy of Flickr 




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