Luxury

Vertu’s luxury smartphone dream is dead, thank goodness

By Oliver Smith 13 July 2017
Summary

The premium smartphone maker has gone bust, hurrah!

On Old Bond Street in the heart of London’s Mayfair, just down from Tiffany and before you get to Cartier, there is a very silly shop.

Vertu is a ‘luxury phonemaker’, its wares are handmade in Britain, crafted with materials like alligator leather. Some are even encrusted with diamonds.

And yes, these phones cost thousands of pounds.

Idiotic opulence

Premium smartphones aren’t a problem, I’ve no qualms with a 24 carat gold iPhone 7.

It’s a flagship smartphone, dipped in decadence.

But Vertu is something else.

Many of the phones it sells are just ‘dumb’, with physical keyboards and no apps.

Worse still, its flagship ‘smart’ phone like the Signature Touch (£7,500) may look snazzy, but their guts are decidedly ugly.

The Signature Touch is powered by a Snapdragon 810 processor that was cutting-edge, back in 2014.

And it does run Android, but only the version from November of 2014.

The story is the same across most of Vertu’s devices. Ancient technology dressed up in glitzy garbs and sold in swanky stores to stupid shoppers with more money than sense.

A fitting end

What riles me about Vertu isn’t that they sell opulent smartphones, it’s that the devices being sold are outdated pieces of tat.

If you are spending that kind of money, you deserve a ‘luxury smartphone’ whose luxury is more than skin deep. You deserve so much better than what Vertu were offering.

Yes were, because this morning Vertu finally entered liquidation.

Despite slashing the prices of its handsets – from over £10,000 to the single thousands in recent months – nothing could save it from demise.

That’s because today the richest shoppers in the world are buying exactly the same smartphones as you.

Kim Kardashian has an iPhone, Barack Obama has an iPhone, the checkout clerk at Tesco has an iPhone.

And you probably have an iPhone* too.

*Or a Samsung, we’re not picky. And obviously our hearts go out to the 200 Vertu staff losing their jobs, but that’s besides the point of this article.