Chinese Investors Buy Swedish Luxury Smartphone Maker, Vertu
Vertu is a well known UK-based manufacturer of coutour, handcrafted luxury smartphones. The company, previously owned by Nokia, who had created it in order to form a niche in the luxury trade market, has now been sold to Chinese investors.
Vertu phones are well known for features that include precious metals, leather casings and sapphire screens. Its chief executive, Massimiliano Pogliani says that it is now “an appropriate time to pass on the baton of leadership to a new team”. And with Chinese investors, occupying a large portion of the smartphone market, they do seem like the obvious successors.
What we know about the company’s timeline is that it was founded by Nokia in 1998 and then bought by a Swedish private equity group called EQT from Nokia back in 2012 for more than 200 million euros. Vertu had shipped its first phone in 2002 and had sold around 450,000 devices by 2015. The company will continue to conduct its business via its headquarters in Hampshire, England.
Vertu was created to provide premium handsets for those who were willing to pay for it. For example, its latest handset costs almost 7,000 pounds or Rs.70,8074 for a basic version and up to 17,000 pounds or Rs.17,19,609 if you want a rose gold frame! It’s most expensive handset is priced at almost 200,000 pounds which is approximately Rs.2,02,30,696 and this comes signed with the name of the craftsman who made it. Yes, that’s a lot of dough indeed.
However, with smartphone companies like Apple providing consumers with a smartphone that bettered Vertu in technology and also came with some sort of a status symbol attached to it, the Swedish company began to struggle in its own niche. Therefore, Vertu has in the recent past tried to improve the technology in its latest phones while also lowering its prices, so as to create a slightly larger customer base.
So, hopefully with the new ownership of Vertu will be able to maintain its position in the luxury phone department while catering to the need for high end specs as well.