Question: what’s better than a plain old smartphone? Answer: a smartphone that’s pointlessly encrusted in dozens of sickeningly expensive jewels. Obviously.
That’s exactly what Vertu specialises in, and now we’re hearing that Nokia is close to selling its ostentatious UK-based subsidiary.
Private equity group, Permira, is said to be interested, and a figure of €200 million has been quoted. That’s around £160 million to you and me.
Good deal? Well, last year we heard that Vertu’s annual revenue was estimated at around £170-255 million.
The most outrageous Vertu phone was the Signature Cobra, with a jewel-encrusted snake around the keyboard, two diamonds, emeralds for eyes, and – heck, why not? – 439 rubies.
Only eight Vertu Signature Cobras were ever made, and it was valued at £210,000. Humans. Hell of a species.