Nokia founded the luxury phone brand Vertu in 1998 to produce handsets for the rich and famous. Their phones were priced from £4,000 to well over £10,000 and were constructed from high end materials including gold, hand cut leather and sapphires.
The phones were popular with the company's target market for a while until the focus of the market changed. With the prevalence of smartphones especially the rise of the iPhone, we saw users make a sift towards wanting devices that were usable instead of simply a big ticket, luxury item.
Now, the bell tolls for the company and around 200 employees will lose their jobs in the liquidation process. The company was acquired by a Turkish exile in Paris named Hakan Uzan in March. He had planned on paying £1.9m to pull the company out of administration however, the plan failed due to a deficit of £128m.
It is possible that the fall of Vertu is also linked to the increase in specialist companies who are willing to take any handset and customise it in anyway the client desires. Take a look at the examples below from Goldgenie and Brikk.
N.B. Images sourced from Vertu Media Centre