The phone is from Nokia’s L’Amour collection which Dave says is surprisingly popular with men.
What allows this type of cultural-specific design to work is the fact that although it references local style, it is aimed at consumers around the world. This means that Asian pattern and decoration is elevated to the role of a global influence. This is appealing to foreigners because the products look exotic and it appeals to local consumers because such a global influence is aspirational, rare and highly valued.
Of course the fact that the design work is so well executed is essential. Interestingly, outside designers sometimes reinterpret local decoration and style in a fresh way which also resonates with local consumers. Often though, the involvement of local designers may add the local savvy that allows local adoption of the products. In our studio, our most successful cross-cultural work has been collaboration between locals and foreigners. Locals add the savvy, foreigners add the twist.