UK luxury smartphone maker Vertu, known for extremely expensive devices made with high-end materials, has went into liquidation.
The company, which was originally created by Nokia in 1998, will cease manufacturing as it begins to liquidate its assets, resulting in a loss of about 200 jobs. The company’s owner plans to retain the Vertu brand, technology, and design licenses in an effort to potentially rebuild the company, according to the Financial Times.
Vertu phones carried huge price tags, with its Signature range starting at £11,100, and one model featuring 18-carat red gold costing £39,100. The expensive prices were down to being hand-made in the UK out of exceptional materials — and naturally, produced in very small numbers.
However, Vertu wasn’t able to keep up with the latest innovations that all smartphones were offering — its specs weren’t the latest and greatest, its skin of Android was dated and it never produced a great camera.
This model of creating bespoke ultra-luxury phone made far more sense 10 years ago before high-powered smartphones were the norm, but in the past few years this model was becoming increasingly unsustainable.
In March, the company was sold by its former Chinese owner to Hakan Uzan, a Turkish exile in Paris. Mr Uzan will retain the Vertu brand, technology and licenses.