Blackberry Brings On The Bling

A Blackberry may be a status symbol, but as the high-tech devices become ever more ubiquitous, users are increasingly looking for ways to make theirs stand out. Besides, although pretty resilient, the handhelds do have a nasty habit of sliding out of pockets and briefcases. So some top designers are creating luxury BlackBerry cases that protect in high style.

For the pragmatic, Otter Box makes cases featuring durable rubber and polycarbonate that look cool and provide great cushioning ($100; www.otterbox.com). Louis Vuitton has developed the Okapi Case GM, a spacious carrier made of the company's iconic Damier canvas ($420; www.louisvuitton. com). Just in time for Valentine's Day, Goldstriker International is unveiling a line of luxury leather and gold- or platinum-plated cases ($1,560; www.goldstriker.co. uk).

For women, Violet May in London makes a stylish gold python-print BlackBerry purse, with a deep inner sleeve for the device, plus room for money, business cards and even a passport ($390; www. violetmaylondon.com). But nothing is more extravagant than the version from Case-Mate, made from 15 grams of gold and encrusted with 3.5 carats of diamonds. Just be sure you don't drop it down the stairs ($20,000; www.case-mate.com).

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