Vertu, maker of ridiculously expensive smartphones, shuts down

Luxury smartphone brand Vertu has officially closed up shop in the wake of financial woes including enormous debt and over 200 unpaid employees.

Life’s tough at the top – just ask luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu, which for years has (apparently) thrived on selling ridiculously expensive smartphones constructed out of luxury materials.
As things go, that’s all in the past now – as the luxury marque has gone into liquidation following serious financial woes.
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PhoneArena reports that the UK-based firm faces debt of $165.5 million USD in unpaid bills and salaries; this after Hong Kong hedge fund manager Gary Chen claimed that he had still not recieved some $61 million USD for selling the firm to a rival businessman, Hakan Uzan.
Vertu, for years, prided itself on offering smartphones that had features comparable to other rival handsets on the market, but succeeded in differentiating itself by not only jazzing up its hardware with flashy materials such as leather and titanium, but offering features such as a Concierge, which employed flesh-and-blood human beings to fulfill the needs of those too busy to purchase groceries or pay their utility bills.
Vertue has been largely succeeded by other manufacturers who have thrived by creating custom, luxury variants of more ubiquitous smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone or the latest Galaxy S device.
Still, some other ridiculously premium marques remain – including the likes of Turing Robotics, which continues to flog the bizarre spec list that forms the Turing Phone Cadenza.
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What are your thoughts? Was their ever any room for luxury smartphone makers to succeed to begin with? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA