||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2011)|
|Industry||Luxury goods, Telecommunications|
|Headquarters||Church Crookham, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Perry Oosting, President and Chief Operating Officer
Frank Nuovo, Head of Design
|Products||Luxury mobile phones|
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. Handsets continue to be manufactured by Nokia. By early 2013, 326,000 phones had been sold, and phones were on sale in 500 retail outlets, including 70 run by the company. The phones are technologically modest and 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 £3500 for the Constellation model.
The business is based in the United Kingdom with offices in New York City, Beirut, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Paris and Singapore. Vertu's president and chief operating officer is Perry Oosting. The business has over 600 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 companies first touchscreen model. Most recently in February 2013 the Vertu Ti was launched which is the first handset from Vertu to use an Android operating system.
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.
- "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.
- Rob Beschizza (March 19, 2008). "Eight Things We Pretend to Care About, But Don’t". Gadget Lab. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "Vertu, Ferrari Team Up for Titanium Phone".
- Brad Molen (January 5, 2012). "Vertu rings in the Year of the Dragon by welcoming a trio of Signature luxury phones". Engadget. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- Zak Islam (January 31, 2013). "Nokia-made Android Smartphone is the Vertu Ti, Costs $4070". Tom's Hardware. 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)