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Mobile

Tech and the city

Million dollar parties, celebrity giveaways, Hollywood blockbuster appearances -- has the mobile phone become such a status symbol that these extravagant launches are necessary for a product's success?

Tech and the city
commentary Million dollar parties, celebrity giveaways, Hollywood blockbuster appearances -- has the mobile phone become such a status symbol that these extravagant launches are necessary for a product's success?

High-profile fashion designers would be aware that getting your outfit onto the right people is a must to ensure you're targeting the right market. But while Sarah Jessica Parker struts around New York in her Manolo Blahniks from Sex and the City, technology manufacturers are increasingly looking towards celebrity endorsement to increase sales.

At the Academy Awards this year, guests reportedly walked away with goody bags containing a (then yet-to-be-released) black Motorola RAZR V3.

Looking to increase its visibility in the fashion space, Motorola last week announced a partnership with the City of Melbourne for this year's Spring Fashion Week.

Movies and television shows are also bombarded with product placement and blatant advertising of technology brands. I was reminded of this on the weekend during a game of Trivial Pursuit where a question read: "What was the brand of mobile phone used in the film The Matrix?"

While I was debating in my mind whether it was Nokia or Samsung, conversation turned to the new handset from Nokia that's up on billboards, bus shelters, and in every magazine in town at the moment, the 8800.

When Nokia launched the "luxury" 8800 phone at the Museum of Sydney recently, reports say that each of the 88 invited guests went home with one of the AU$1,600 handsets. Fashion designer Collette Dinnigan, Louis Vuitton CEO Philip Corne and chef Tetsuya Wakuda were amongst the glitterati on the guest list.

No doubt they were chuffed at the freebie, but have a look at what Juniper Foo, editor of ZDNET Australia's sister site, CNET Asia, thought of the 8800 in terms of design, features and performance after putting it through its paces.

Do you think glitzy giveaways and lavish launches increase sales or justify premium price points? Who do you think is the biggest offender in the tech industry of sacrificing substance for style? Have your say below!