HTC (TPE:2498) has developed One smartphones made with 18-karat gold, but the Taiwanese manufacturer has only produced five of the smartphones, mainly for winners of the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards in Glasgow. HTC U.K. says that the gold-plated HTC One is valued at £2,750, or $4,422 USD.

HTC developed the 18-karat gold-plated HTC One with Goldgenie, a company known for customizing everything from video game consoles to Swarovski-encrusted iPod Nanos for Elton John’s namesake charity. HTC says that it will give also run a promotional giveaway to a member of the “general public,” in addition to MOBO Award-winners.

"The best artists have always been given gold discs to celebrate their success, but today most people listen to music on their phone,” Phil Blair, HTC president of Europe, Middle East and Africa said in a press release. “We wanted to celebrate that fact. The award winning HTC One is the gold standard in mobile design and innovation, so it was an obvious choice to make it even more special.”

Goldgenie Founder Laban Roomes worked with HTC to plate the aluminum unibody of the One with 18-karate gold, along with MOBO 18 etched on the smartphone’s rear shell. The promotional gold HTC One was developed for the 18th anniversary of the MOBO awards.

The gold-plated HTC One will function normally, the company says. The International Business Times reviewed the HTC One last month, praising the device’s premium manufacturing but criticizing its on-board software.

HTC reported over $100 million in operating loss earlier this month, despite strong sales of the HTC One flagship. Photos of a gold-colored HTC One also leaked in Sept., a few days after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled the gold iPhone 5S. HTC has also developed a 24-Karat gold edition with Goldgenie for consumers in Russia.

What do you think of the new crop of gold (plated and painted) smartphones? Is the gold-plated HTC One as desirable as a Porsche-designed BlackBerry?

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