Vertu

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For art, see Vertu (collections).
Vertu
Division
Industry Luxury goods, Telecommunications
Founded 1998
Founder Nokia
Headquarters Church Crookham, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Ali Al Alawi (Chief Executive Officer)
Products Luxury mobile phones
Number of employees
1000
Parent EQT VI and Nokia
Website Vertu.com

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,[1] (rumoured to be $200 million),[2] but will retain a 10% share.[3] 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.[4] The phones are most popular in Russia, Asia and the Middle East.[5]

Concept[edit]

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?".[6] Vertu phones, or "'mobile communications instruments"[7] 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.[6] 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.[8]

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.

Collection[edit]

A Vertu Signature phone in stainless steel

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.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11]

Vertu has also made limited edition handsets in collaboration with Ferrari,[12] Bentley[13] Lapo Elkann[14] and Ermenegildo Zegna.[15]

Boldface: Smartphones

S.: status, where

  • P indicates under production and
  • D indicates discontinued.
Phone model Screen type Released S. Technology Generation Form factor
Signature 116x148 12-bit (4096) 2002 P GSM Series 40 Candybar
Ascent (Gen 1) 116x148 12-bit (4096) 2004 D GSM Series 40 Candybar
Ascent (Gen 2) 116x148 12-bit (4096) 2005 D GSM/GPRS Series 40 Candybar
Constellation 116x148 12-bit (4096) 2004 D GSM Series 40 Candybar
Constellation Ayxta D GSM Series 40 Candybar
Constellation Quest 116x148 12-bit (4096) 2007 D GSM Series 40 Candybar
Constellation (2011) 2011 D GSM Series 40 Candybar
Vertu Ti 2013 D GSM Android Candybar
Signature Touch 1080*1920 FHD 2013 P LTE Android Candybar
Constellation (2013) 1080*1920 FHD 2013 P LTE Android Candybar
Aster 1080*1920 FHD 2014 P LTE Android Candybar

Operating system[edit]

Previous to 2013, Vertu phones used the Symbian mobile operating system. Since 2013, all phones released use Android.

Distribution[edit]

Old Bond Street boutique, London

Vertu is available from around 500 stores, including 70 Vertu Boutiques, in 66 countries.[16]

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 three Vertu Boutiques in the United States, located on Madison Avenue in New York City, the Wynn Las Vegas resort and casino, and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

There are a number of stores in Dubai, such as in the Mall of the Emirates, the Dubai Mall, and the Burjuman Mall.

Criticism[edit]

Vertu phones have been described as "tasteless trash" by Wired Magazine,[17] and "technologically modest" by the Financial Times.[5] They are often described as bling.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "EQT's Current Portfolio - Vertu". Retrieved October 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Vertu: it makes sense for Nokia to sell us". The Telegraph (UK). Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Nokia will retain 10% share in Vertu". Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Vertu chooses Android over Windows for luxury handset". BBC News. February 11, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Nokia prepares to lose its bling tone". Financial Times. 
  6. ^ a b "The origins of Vertu". The Economist. February 20, 2003. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "Bling! Bling!". CNNMoney.com. Retrieved May 15, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Vertu Launch Party: Hollywood Stars Try Out the New Constellation". October 19, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Vertu's Signature Touch combines top tech with a concierge". Wired UK. 
  11. ^ Richard Lai. "Vertu's Signature Touch puts the luxury back into specs". Engadget. AOL. 
  12. ^ "Vertu, Ferrari Team Up for Titanium Phone",
  13. ^ "Want to really impress at the boat club? Get a Bentley premium smartphone made by Vertu",
  14. ^ "Vertu and Italia Independent Phones By Lapo Elkann". Luxatic. 
  15. ^ kamakshi. "Signature Vertu for Ermenegildo Zegna China 20th Anniversary Limited Edition dazzles in gold". Luxurylaunches. 
  16. ^ Vertu (3 October 2013). "Vertu Presents New Constellation at One Mayfair, London - A New Kind of...". prnewswire.com. 
  17. ^ Rob Beschizza (March 19, 2008). "Eight Things We Pretend to Care About, But Don’t". Gadget Lab. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]