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|Industry||Luxury goods, Telecommunications|
|Headquarters||Church Crookham, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom|
|Gordon Watson (Chief Executive Officer)|
|Products||Luxury mobile phones|
Number of employees
Vertu is a British manufacturer and retailer of luxury, handmade mobile phones established by Finnish mobile-phone manufacturer Nokia in 1998. In October 2012 Nokia sold Vertu to private equity group EQT VI for an unspecified amount, (rumoured to be $200 million), but retained a 10% share. By the end of 2013, the company had around 350,000 customers, and phones were on sale in 500 retail outlets, including 70 run by the company. In 2015, it was announced that EQT had sold its share of Vertu to Godin Holdings, a Hong Kong-based holding company.
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. The business is based in the United Kingdom with offices in New York City, Dubai, Moscow, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Paris and Singapore. In November Massimiliano Pogliani was replaced by Billy Crotty as Vertu's CEO, who in turn was replaced by Gordon Watson three months later. The business has 900 employees.
The flagship model is called the Signature. Its key pad contains nearly 5 carats of ruby bearings. Other models are Ascent, Constellation Classic, Constellation Ayxta, along with smartphones Constellation Quest, and the Constellation (released October 2011). Ascent phones are designed to be lightweight and durable, made of aluminium or titanium with vulcanised rubber and leather. The 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, followed in June 2014, by Signature Touch. The Signature Touch is a top-tier device running a 2.3GHz quad core Snapdragon 801 processor. It comes with a 4.7 inch 1080p display, 64GB storage, LTE, NFC and Qi wireless charging. The Signature Touch's price ranged $10,300/€7,900 for the base model to maximum price of $21,900/€16,900 for the Pure Jet Red Gold.
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.
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- 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.
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- Rob Beschizza (March 19, 2008). "Eight Things We Pretend to Care About, But Don't". Gadget Lab. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "Nokia prepares to lose its bling tone". Financial Times.
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