Friday, 4 August 2017

Must See: Vertu Phone The World’s Most Unnecessarily Expensive Smartphone is Dead Due To Bankruptcy

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A white orchid is wilting in the window of Vertu’s showroom on London’s Old Bond Street. Inside, a video loop depicting the glitzy lifestyle behind the luxury phonemaker is still playing. But Vertu is dead, wound up and in liquidation.
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£128 million deep in debt, smartphone brand Vertu is officially bankrupt. 200 UK jobs will be lost as it shuts down all manufacturing, with owner Murat Hakan Uzan only offering to pay creditors £1.9 million of the debts owed.
If you haven’t heard of Vertu before we can’t say we blame you – its products aren’t exactly for everyone. It presented itself as the ‘purveyor of the finest luxury mobile phones’. You certainly can’t argue with the aesthetics, as handsets come in such decadent cladding as titanium and alligator-hide leather, but the technical specifications were often far from top-of-the-range.

However, you didn’t just get a smartphone when buying a Vertu – you also got a full concierge service. The price of each handset also included 18-month access to a personal concierge. This acted as a ‘lifestyle manager’, which would provide you with ‘discreet and personalised 24/7 assistance worldwide’. Currently the services section of the Vertu website says it has suspended those services with the view of relaunching them, better than ever, in September 2017. Whoops.
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As the name, and price, suggests, this is Vertu’s flagship handset. When it was first released in 2008 it made a lot more sense – or at least as much sense as a £39,000 mobile phone could. Almost ten years on and its continued existence is absolutely baffling.
You don’t need to be a tech buff to realise that something is seriously wrong just from looking at the specs below. The Vertu Signature isn’t even a smartphone – it has functionality similar to most other handsets released in 2008, a time when the first iPhone was on sale, but most people were still using more basic handsets.

Whilst woefully lacking in features it is at least available in a wide variety of styles. The cheapest model is made of stainless steel and black leather with a single button made of ruby, but more expensive options feature mother of pearl inlays, sapphire-faced keys, 18 carat gold detailing and polished black sapphire inlays. Nice and subtle.

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