Luxury mobile brand Vertu, which sold mobile phones in the range of $14,000 and more for a niche luxury market, is reportedly shutting down its operations. This, after last-minute attempts to save the struggling phone maker failed. Vertu’s accounting deficit was nearly GBP 128 million, as pointed out by BBC. This deficit could not be resolved even after Turkish businessman Murat Hakan Uzan bought the company earlier this year.
By defaulting to pay the required deficit, Vertu’s liquidation would result in the loss of nearly 200 of its employees. Murat Uzan sought to buy the manufacturer out of administration in a pre-packaged deal of GBP 1.9 million. The offer was rejected by the creditors.
Beginning as an arm of the now-returning Nokia in 1998, Vertu had become famous for creating handsets with exorbitant price tags. The company employed leather, alligator and lizard skin, precious metals, titanium, and jewels, as well as synthetic sapphire for its phone screens and body. Even though there was a customer base ready to complete the hefty payment for getting their hands on an exclusive Vertu phone, it is apparent that they were no enough to keep the company afloat.
Uzan retains has the design and technology licenses. So it may be possible that Vertu-branded smartphones may be produced from TCL factories. It remains to be seen what companies are looking to make the ultra-luxury handsets a viable business.
Despite the fact that Vertu recently produced a phone more expensive than Lamborghini, we still don’t know at all if the Vertu market is going to open up.