Co.Design

How the Heck Does Yves Béhar's Aesir Phone Cost $8,500?!

It's built like a Rolex for your ear.

America's reigning industrial-design star Yves Béhar has unveiled a sleek new cell phone, which does something unheard of in the electronics industry today: It's designed to last.

As Béhar tells next month's issue of Fast Company magazine: "Instead of more, we proposed better and longer lasting. It became a way to answer questions like, 'Why do I need a new phone each year? And why does it have to be complicated?'"

The phone, AE+Y, is a return to simplicity. Created for the Danish design company Aesir, it has neither a camera phone nor Internet access — which is to say, it's basically the opposite of your typical mobile gadget. Rather than being designed to do many things with cutting-edge tech, it does simple one thing, with the expectation that it will always last. (Besides, doesn't your secretary surf the internets and send the emails for you?)

What it lacks in features, it makes up for in quality, from the gold and steel metalwork by luxury-watch craftspeople to custom ringtones by the Danish-Vietnamese musician Chris Minh Doky. The flourishes include real metal screws rather than glue, a ceramic body (like you might find a Rado watch), individually articulated buttons, and a screen made not of plastic or glass, but rather crystal sapphire, polished and coated much like a camera lens.

All of which goes a long way toward saying that this thing is so well made, it could probably outlive you. At 6,000 Euros (or about $8,500 by today's rates), it had better!

For an in-depth look at what makes AE+Y great, read the full magazine story here.

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4 Comments

  • Expat_47

    Just like it was yesteryear! Make a simple product that does the job it is intended for well and hasn't got built-in obsolescence! 

    The 'gold' may be a bit much, however. ;)

  • Ripsokindynos

    Yea, its just what eveyone wants during an economic recession.
    Are you kidding or what!

  • serge beaulieu

    most people who desire & can afford to buy this phone, will likely have a laptop or ipad to browse the web and do email (or an assistant..lol)

    sometime its nice to go back to the basics and as for the price, how many 4,000 dollar watches does bell & ross sell every year....and all it does is tell time ;-) there is a market for this. it's just not you...

  • Joel Blair

    As long as most brands make short life, throw away products, there's always room for a luxury brand to make something beautiful and long lasting. Nice work.