At one time, decorative plates were the trinket of choice for those wanting to commemorate a major event, whether it was birth, marriage, or death. Times have changed, and Goldgenie — makers of ostentatious, often obscene, custom smartphones — thought the passing of Cecil the Lion should be marked with a special gold HTC One M9.
Priced at $2,560, only 99 (or maybe there will be 199, there’s a discrepancy between the announcement and the back of the phone) of the special edition phones will be produced. The shell is dipped in 24-carat gold, and has a laser-engraving of Cecil the Lion on the back panel, with the words “For Cecil and his Kingdom,” underneath. It comes inside a box made from cherry oak, but otherwise, the 32GB phone is the same as you’d buy elsewhere.
In case you missed the news — but if you’ve been online over the past week, we’re not sure how that could happen — Cecil the Lion, one of the most popular animals at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, was cruelly killed by an American dentist in July, and the incident has caused international outrage. Goldgenie, it seems, didn’t want to miss out on the chance to muscle its way into the surrounding furore.
Is the One M9 Cecil Edition a tasteless, money-grabbing exercise by an equally tasteless, money-grabbing company? Well, yes, probably; but there is a softer side to Goldgenie, and it has made a promise that makes the phone slightly less offensive. For every phone purchased, Goldgenie will donate 10-percent to the Friends of Hwange charity, which works on behalf of the Hwange National Park. No matter your opinion of the phone, that’s something it didn’t have to do.
If the One M9 is the phone for you, and you can think of nothing better than immortalizing Cecil on it, then the gold device is available to order now for a 50-percent deposit.