Shortly after seeing an all new Vertu hit the FCC, in flies word confirming that the handset maker may actually sell quite a few (by its standards). According to a new report from ABI Research, the annual global revenue for opulent cellphones will exceed $41 billion next year and surpass $43 billion by 2013. This year, just under 6 million "luxury handsets" are expected to be sold (what exactly defines "luxury?"), with Western Europe leading the way in demand, followed by North America and Asia. Of course, the writeup also asserts that sales of these kinds will remain extraordinarily low compared to all those free-on-contract sets, but don't be surprised to see a few new faces (and their accompanying mobiles) at this year's debutante ball.

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Luxury handset sector on the rise as the rich get richer