Remember the jewel-encrusted Nokia phones that looked like a million bucks and cost somewhere in that region too? They went by the name of Vertu and were started by Nokia in 1998 as a contender in the Luxury mobile phone market. And now they’re dead!
Yes! Founded by Nokia in 1998, sold to a Chinese owner in 2012 and then re-sold to a Turkish businessman in March this year, the Vertu mobile phones have ceased to exist as the brand has been liquidated due to financial difficulties.
Vertu’s Signature range started at Rs 9,19,000 (£11,100).
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, although the new Turkish owner, Hakan Uzan, tried to bring the company back on its feet, the company’s £128 million accounting deficit took a toll on its financial well-being, leading to the current predicament where it’s being liquidated.
Over 200 employees of the company lost their jobs but Vertu’s brand, technology and licenses will still be the property of Hakan Uzan.
Soon after it was sold by Nokia, the phone gave up the Symbian operating system and adopted Android. But that certainly wasn’t enough for a mobile brand whose many USP were the jewels that gave it a luxury feel.
However, with the technological advancements and unprecedented growth in the popularity of smartphones, such luxury customisations were being offered by many brands.
Vertu designed and decorated the devices in accordance with their own wish and liking. The companies offering these customisation had an advantage over Vertu as everything from the designs and type of jewels being used to the smartphone being customised was decided by the customer.
In the face of growing competition in its vertical of luxury phones and the dearth of original phone technology, such flexibility in design and choice of phone wasn’t a virtue of Vertu.
Vertu was bound to fall and it has.
Even if it’s argued that their jewel design was far superior to any other of its competitors, the fact of the matter is that since the advent of smartphones, the utility of a device has become far more important than its design.
While the world was witnessing technological advancement at a mind-blowing pace, Vertu was still stranded serving its bourgeoisie clientele, which has decreased by a significant margin since mobile phones could do more than just call and send a text message.
Although there are companies like Solarin which are still trying to make a mark in the luxury mobile phone market, ‘bling’ isn’t the only thing they provide, rather their main aim and selling point is security in communications blended with the latest tech.