Vertu, Brute? Luxury smartphone maker 'folds under financial pressure'

Maker of $280k smartphones forced to shut down manufacturing - report

British luxury smartphone maker Vertu, which sold phones worth as much as $280,000, is shutting down its manufacturing arm, with the loss of almost 200 jobs.

The premium brand, which was originally part of Nokia, was faced with severe financial difficulties, and according to The Telegraph has today lost a High Court battle that would have allowed owner Murat Hakan Uzan to buy the firm out of administration for 1.9 million.

Uzan was seeking a pre-pack administration deal to let the company shake off an accounting deficit in excess of 128 million. The company also reportedly owes more than 2.5 million to Microsoft, from which it sub-leases its headquarters.

"Our best efforts to achieve a pre-pack administration have failed because the financial requirements specified within the negotiations went beyond the point where the new company had a chance of financial viability," a Vertu spokesman told the Telegraph. "No other part of the group is affected by this development."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Vertu is known for producing extravagant and outrageously expensive luxury handsets, which start at $10,000 and are frequently made from materials like snakeskin, gold and precious stones. But it has also attracted criticism for its use of outdated Android software.

Business has apparently been slow, however, with sales of just 9,000 units last year. A legacy manufacturer from the days before the iPhone, Vertu was slow to adapt to the smartphone revolution, something which has been blamed for the company's reversal in fortunes.

Uzan, a Turkish exile currently living in Paris, remains the owner of Vertu's various design and technology licenses, and the Financial Times reports that a source close to him indicates he intends to restart the company in some form.

IT Pro has contacted Vertu for comment.

Featured Resources

The essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery

Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency plan

Download now

Trends in modern data protection

A comprehensive view of the data protection landscape

Download now

How do vulnerabilities get into software?

90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software

Download now

Delivering the future of work - now

The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/business-strategy/digital-transformation/354201/boston-dynamics-dog-like-robots-sniff-out-bombs-for
digital transformation

Boston Dynamics dog-like robots sniff out bombs for Massachusetts police

26 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/google-android/354189/samsung-galaxy-a90-5g-review-simply-the-best-value-5g-phone
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/354222/samsung-sails-past-apples-market-share-despite-smartphone-market-slump
Mobile Phones

Samsung sails past Apple's market share despite smartphone market slump

28 Nov 2019
Visit/marketing-comms/social-media/354207/businesses-should-act-fast-during-upcoming-twitter-purge
social media

Businesses should act fast during upcoming Twitter purge

27 Nov 2019