Vertu, the luxury smartphone maker, is shutting down its manufacturing arm
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In the smartphone industry, the name Vertu has become synonymous with luxury, extravagance, and a blatant disregard for value. Over the years, the brand has created several high-priced cell phones and smartphones that are often technologically outdated but are crafted from luxurious materials with a feature set geared toward the rich. From the ostrich leather back covers of their smartphone cases to buttons carved from precious gems to a 24/7 concierge service ready to answer questions, make reservations, and even plan a trip, Vertu phones offered a unique mobile experience at an exorbitant cost, typically in the tens of thousands of dollars. But the dream of an uber-luxury phone may be over; Vertu has announced that they will be closing their manufacturing plant in the UK.
Vertu has been in trouble for a while. After being juggled from owner to owner since 2012, a Turkish investor and businessman by the name of Murat Hakan Uzan bought the distressed company earlier this year in March. At that time, Vertu had racked up debts in excess of £125 million (about USD $160 million) and was facing bankruptcy. When Uzan purchased the company, he tried to broker a deal to settle Vertu’s debts for £1.9 million. That deal has fallen through, leading to the closure of the Vertu’s manufacturing facility and effectively killing the company. This closure will also lead to the loss of 200 jobs in the UK.
Uzan has stated that he will still hold on to the brand and plans to resurrect the company and its services at some point in the future, perhaps as soon as September of this year (according to Vertu’s website). However, as it now stands, if you want to drop $50,000 on a smartphone purchase, you could just buy 385 Motorola Moto E4 phones that can probably do as much (if not more) than a Vertu could.