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Give your cell phone a modern makeover
It;s time to replace your old cell phone with the latest handset or just change the look of the old one by giving it a trendy makeover.
What's that hanging from your hip? Or buried in your purse? Maybe it's an old factory cell phone in need of a makeover. Or maybe you're already on top of the game.

Just 15 years ago, cell phones were clunky anvils that few people could afford. Today, they're must-haves, and young people are driving the movement to make them hipper.

"They want the good stuff," said Bryan Biniak, senior vice president for marketing at AG Interactive and general manager of AG Mobile. "It's a statement about who you are and it's reasonably affordable. You can't necessarily afford a $100,000 Bentley, but you can have the hottest phone."

In the past few years, cell phones have created a cottage industry for accessories. Ring tones, wallpaper, faceplates, charms, cases, purses, flashing antennae and more give phones personal pizzazz.

At the Wireless Shop kiosk in a mall in North Carolina, Christa Grace searched for a faceplate. She had many to choose from: Tupac, a $100 bill, Playboy bunny, Phat Farm, Grace, 19, settled on a pink Baby Phat cover for her clamshell Motorola V-180. "You can change your personality and then you can change your phone," explained Grace, who also has ring tones and wallpaper for her phone.

Ring tones started as a functional device to help distinguish callers without looking at the phone, but now they send a message about the owners, Some young people change their ring tones daily, said Theda Sandiford, brand director for Def Jam Mobile.

The tones can be a popular song or even your own poetry. "It's really a way for you to broadcast to the world what your point of view on life is," she said.

Customising phones is so popular that Vonage even had a "Pimp My Phone" contest. After-market accessories barely skim the surface of tricked out phones. Manufacturers now sell fashion phones. For example, the Nokia 7280 looks like lipstick. Vertu has a line made of platinum, 18-carat yellow and white gold. Designer Anna Sui designed a limited-edition phone for Samsung. Some of the hottest phones this season are the Moto Razr V3, Nokia 7280, Samsung SCH N330, Vertu Signature, Nextel NASCAR Cup Series.

It's not high fashion, but Nextel sells NASCAR phones, which have the number of your favourite driver on the case. After all, racing was born in Charlotte. Make it your own.
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Posted on : 29/11/2005
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