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Tonino Lamborghini – Dial L for Lamborghini

Lamborghini’s new phone wants to wow Indians with its stress on techno luxury
In an era, where the upwardly mobile Indian wants increasingly greater validation of his having made it to the top, visible symbols play an important part. Expensive addresses, fast cars, fancy yachts, flashy watches and, of course, that ever present companion – a smart phone that exudes luxury.

The well-heeled Indians have been opting for luxury brands such as Vertu to meet this need. Come next January, they might be in for more choice, as they could flash a Lamborghini phone, possibly even without the car!

Robert Hatefi, head of Tonino Lamborghini mobile and audio manufacturing division, was in New Delhi recently to talk about and give a sneak preview of the new generation Lamborghini Tonino Tauri 88 cell phone. While Lamborghini phones have been available globally for the past couple of years and have much sought after statements of luxury, the Tauri promises to marry style and technology as never before and introducing the techno luxury segment.  

Like other phones by the brand, the new phone too is named after a constellation. The 88 Tauri, named after multiple star system in the Taurus constellation, is going to be the world’s first DSDA 4G phone based on Qualcomm’s SnapDragaon 800 chipset (2.3 GHz Quad-core) with 3GB RAM and a 5 Inch screen. The ‘88’ in the name is inspired by the Asian belief in 8 being a lucky number, especially in China.

Running on customized Android 4.4.4, this phone will be available in several colour options to suit tastes of both men and women alike. A 20 megapixel main camera and 8 megapixel secondary camera with DTS HD sound should obviate the need for a separate camera. The phone also includes Wolfson’s noise cancellation system and the world’s biggest 3400 mAH battery with 1000 hours of standby time, making it the luxurious smartphone of choice. The phones are manufactured in Taiwan, while being designed at the brand centre in Italy.

Lamborghini Tonino smartphones“In this era, you have to be technology driven,” says Mr Hatefi. “When a phone goes wrong, a brand goes wrong. A phone must be unique. The uniqueness comes from the brand and design.” Mr Hatefi says the brand researched markets in UK, Russia and Europe to understand what the Lamborghini brand meant to people. “We have high ambitions, but are humble,” he stresses. “Just having a brand will not sell. It has to be something that meets the user needs,” he says. “The ultimate decision makers are the consumers.”

Mr Hatefi is confident of taking on the competition. “For us, Vertu is not a competitor, but a collaborator and a path breaker,” he says. “Our customer is the young high society generation, not necessarily old business people,” he says. “The people we target are in sports, cinema, fashion, lifestyle.”

The phone is expected to launch in UK, Dubai, Russia and Milan first, though it will be available in India soon after. The Tauri is expected to be priced at about INR 4.5 lakh, a shade below Vertu.

Deepak Kumar, Managing Director of Luxury Quotient India is confident about the market in India. Just to underscore the difference to customers, he says buyers will be given a free iPhone6 “just to play with”! He is confident the brand will sell double the number of Vertus in India.

Lamborghini phones started as a project about two and half years ago, says Mr Hatefi. The largest markets are in Russia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK. United States has not yet been tapped, though future plans could include this lucrative market, which the brand plans to enter in 2015.

Both TL 66 Antares (priced at INR 2.75 lacs) and 88 Tauri will be available with Curations, a luxury boutique at the Gallery on MG in New Delhi from mid-February 2015.

Ph: +91-11-4615 1000 (Curations)

Suman TarafdarSuman Tarafdar is a journalist and writer based in Delhi. He has worked with a number of leading Indian media organisations, and writes on various aspects of luxury, lifestyle and culture. When not writing to earn a living, he likes to travel, read, cook, chat, shop and watch all kinds of soppy stuff on TV. Yes, current politics bothers him