|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2011)|
|Industry||Luxury goods, Telecommunications|
|Headquarters||Church Crookham, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Massimiliano Pogliani (Chief Executive Officer)|
|Products||Luxury mobile phones|
|Parent||EQT VI and Nokia|
Vertu is a British manufacturer and retailer of luxury mobile phones established by Finnish mobile-phone manufacturer Nokia as a wholly owned subsidiary in 1998. In October 2012 Nokia sold Vertu to private equity group EQT VI for an unspecified amount, (rumoured to be $200 million), but will retain a 10% share. By the end of 2013, 350,000 phones had been sold, and phones were on sale in 500 retail outlets, including 70 run by the company. The phones are most popular in Russia, Asia and the Middle East.
According to The Economist the concept was to market phones explicitly as fashion accessories, with the idea "if you can spend $20,000 on a watch, why not on a mobile phone?". Vertu phones, or "'mobile communications instruments" are made in its factories in Church Crookham, Hampshire, England. Handsets are sold through an emphasis on craftsmanship, style and service, rather than mobile phone functions. In 2006, the most expensive model it had ever made was the Signature Cobra, at £213,000 (~$310,000); the most expensive 2006 regular model was the Signature Diamond at £55,000 (~$83,000). In 2006, prices started at £3,500 for the Constellation model.
The business is based in the United Kingdom with offices in New York City, Dubai, Moscow, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Paris and Singapore. Vertu's CEO is Massimiliano Pogliani. The business has 1000 employees.
The flagship model is called the Signature. Its key pad contains nearly 5 carats of ruby bearings.
Other models include: Ascent, Constellation Classic, Ayxta, along with smartphones Constellation Quest, and the Constellation Touch (released October 2011). Ascent phones are designed to be lightweight and durable, made of aluminium or titanium with vulcanised rubber and leather. The Constellation Classics are simple and small handsets. Ayxtas are flip phones that come in numerous variants and colors. The Quest is the first smartphone by Vertu, equipped with a full QWERTY keyboard made from sapphire sculpted keys. This was followed by Constellation in 2011 which was the company's first touchscreen model. In February 2013, Vertu launched the Vertu Ti, the first Vertu handset to use an Android operating system, and most recently in June 2013 they launched Signature Touch.
Vertu is available from around 500 stores, including 70 Vertu Boutiques, in 66 countries.
Vertu phones are available in its own branded stores, concessions in leading department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges in London, and other authorised retailers such as Tourneau in the U.S, in Parizska street in Prague and DLF Emporio, New Delhi, India. Beijing's Oriental Plaza in the Wangfujing shopping district has a Vertu boutique.
There are a number of stores in Dubai, such as in the Mall of the Emirates, the Dubai Mall, and the Burjuman Mall.
- "EQT's Current Portfolio - Vertu". Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- "Vertu: it makes sense for Nokia to sell us". The Telegraph (UK). Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "Nokia will retain 10% share in Vertu". Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- "Vertu chooses Android over Windows for luxury handset". BBC News. February 11, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "The origins of Vertu". The Economist. February 20, 2003. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- Jonathan Margolis (December 5, 2008). "Bling bling! The £1m mobile, hand-crafted in solid gold and encrusted with jewels - just don't leave it on the train...". Mail Online. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "Bling! Bling!". CNNMoney.com. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- "Vertu Launch Party: Hollywood Stars Try Out the New Constellation". October 19, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "Vertu, Ferrari Team Up for Titanium Phone",
- "Want to really impress at the boat club? Get a Bentley premium smartphone made by Vertu",
- "Vertu and Italia Independent Phones by Lapo Elkann"
- "Vertu Signature for Ermenegildo Zegna 20th Anniversary Limited Edition dazzles in Gold"
- Rob Beschizza (March 19, 2008). "Eight Things We Pretend to Care About, gupta internet But Don’t". Gadget Lab. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- vertu.com, company's official website
- Vertu Is Its Own Reward (TIME Stylewatch article)
- New Nokia Phones for Richie Rich (Wired)