On 57th Street and 5th Avenue, situated between Burberry and Yves Saint Laurent, a cell phone flagship store recently added itself to the ranks of luxury retailers. This Saturday, Nokia, the Finish cell phone company, opened its 2 nd store in the US after Chicago, drawing 1,500 visitors opening day. It is the 5 th Nokia store in the world. A total of 18 stores are planned to open within the next two years, potentially setting the next trend in tech store flagships since Apple opened its own stores.
The three level 1,800 square foot building changes colors, approximately 60 different hues throughout the day, thanks to interactive monitors which double as information specs of the cell phones as well as text message displays—text 83895 while you are in the store and you might see your message appear on the monitor.
Between fifteen and twenty cell phones are for sale in the store, ranging from the basic $99 model to the luxurious $100,000 model. A trek up to the 3 rd floor will land you in the Vertu brand, a store within a store, where cell phones come with laser etched keys, sapphire crystal screens, or ostrich leather cases. For $4,500, the entry level luxury brand Ascent phone with automotive influences, requires a key to access the battery "under the hood" and features a 24 hour concierge service accessible from anywhere in the world. The service is complimentary with the first year of the phone, but costs $100 a month after that. It is like having a personal genie in a bottle, except of course, it is a cell phone and your wishes are charged to your own credit card.