Vertu is a name that has been synonymous with luxury and opulence in recent years. However, much to the dismay of the industry and customers, the company is all set to bring the shutters down on a brand that many were in awe of and could only dream of owning.
Vertu, which in Latin means 'objects of excellence’ was started as an indulgence for the Nokia engineers in the 1990s. The idea behind this was to see by experiment what kind of device could be attained with no budgetary constraints. Soon Vertu grew from just an indulgence to a division and then to a subsidiary for Nokia.
In 2012, Vertu was sold by Nokia to a Private Equity fund group and it finally released the new Android based devices. This made it the most exclusive Android OEM in the world with devices starting in the 4 digit number range in most of the currencies. With so many distractions, Vertu still managed to build the phone the old school way - the same lone factory in London doing the deed.
The brand has been known all along for its bejeweled handsets that ooze luxury and use exclusive material like alligator skin, diamonds, titanium frames, gold and sapphire screens. Vertu now has feature phones along with its Android range out for the exclusive band of people it serves. The company is also known to deliver the best customer service to its clients. Sadly, even this did not prove to be enough to prevent the company from shutting shop.
Mr Uzan, the prominent but right now exiled Turkish businessman who now owns Vertu confirms that Vertu would-be closing its UK operations due to the firm being unable to pay its £ 1.9 million as financing cost for its £ 129 million debt. This led to the company declaring bankruptcy. It has begun liquidation proceedings of its UK operations.
Vertu has released many a brilliant device since it started out, like the Ascent, the constellation range, its flagship Signature range, Ti (first phone after Nokia operations shut). Giving one a perspective on how expensive these phones were, the latest Signature devices were priced at £44,000 for the top of the line red jet gold version.
The Road Map Ahead
Sadly none of this could help save the much loved and valued brand. Mr Uzan says that he will revive the company at some point in the future but there are no specific details on when that is likely to happen. Until then, here’ bidding adieu to another brand we have all fancied