Armani presents new smart phone amid fashion mobile trend

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Italian luxury label Armani has introduced its newest gadget, "personally" designed by Giorgio himself.

Explaining that the phone -- his third phone for Samsung -- was supposed to be "functional" yet "elegant" at the same time, Armani said: "I simply aim to create a smartphone which is not only an elegant tool but also functional and useful, perfect for today's managers."

"People want more than just a useful device," said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, which produced the Windows-operated user software for the new Armani phone. "They want a phone that offers design qualities that match their personality and lifestyle."

The phone's new and improved features include a better operating system (Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5), and a sliding function that reveals a full touch screen and a keyboard. It also comes with a 5-megapixel camera, a music and video player and 8 GB of internal memory that can be extended through an additional microSD slot.

In the fashion world however, it might be most important to know that the phone has a "bronze color, which coordinates perfectly with Giorgio Armani's suits."

The new gadget will launch in Italy in early November with other official dates not yet known, Relaxnews was told. Prices will depend on the mobile operator, but past Armani phones cost around €700 without a contract.

Armani's announcement follows the news that sportswear brand Puma will launch its first mobile handset in Europe next year.

Prada launched one of the most successful fashion phones together with electronics company LG in 2007, while Samsung collaborated with various clothes brands previously, such as Anna Sui, Betsey Johnson, Versace's Versus branch or Diane von Furstenberg. LG and Samsung rival Sony Ericsson teamed up with Italian design duo Dolce & Gabbana earlier this year for a gold-plated edition of one of its clamshell phones, called Jalou.

Other designers, most recently Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger or Donna Karan, are increasingly discovering the mobile device through iPhone applications.