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Vertu was Nokia’s luxury brand, selling phones costing several thousand pounds each, until it was sold to Swedish private equity firm EQT IV last year in a transaction believed to be worth around £162.5 million to the Finnish phone maker.
While it was part of Nokia, Vertu handsets used the aging Symbian platform, but the company has not followed its former parent in adopting Windows Phone for its latest product.
Vertu Ti luxury smartphones
Vertu was first established in 1998 by Nokia to design and manufacture some of the most expensive mobile phones in the world and the company prides itself on using precious metals, leathers and gemstones in its products. Its phones can only be purchased from 500 retailers around the world, including 70 of its own boutiques.
The Vertu Ti is hand-assembled from 184 parts at the company’s headquarters in Hampshire and is signed by the person who assembled it. At 180g, it’s heavier than many of its cheaper contemporaries, but its titanium frame and 3.7-inch sapphire screen is intended to be durable, which will give peace of mind to owners of a £6,700 smartphone.
For your money, you get the most powerful Vertu smartphone ever, powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a dual core 1.7GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory. It has an eight megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.3MP front facing camera, while luxury technology fans will be pleased to learn that the Vertu Ti offers “symphonic sound” – tuned in collaboration with Bang & Olufsen and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Proud owners will also be able to use the ‘concierge’ button to contact a team of specialists who provide advice and information on things such as restaurant bookings, and buying gifts.
Vertu does not provide sales figures, but according to the BBC, sales have increased every year for the last decade, except for 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed. There are apparently 326,000 Vertu owners worldwide.
The company scored the perfect product placement last year, with the Vertu featuring as the cameraphone used by dominatrix Irene Adler (played by Laura Pulver, pictured) to compromise the Royal Family, and frustrate Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series Sherlock.
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