Vertu drops luxury Windows Phone 8 plans

Feb 14, 2013
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Luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu has ditched plans to launch a Windows Phone 8 device, blaming the "complexity" of adopting Microsoft's platform for the decision to focus on Android. The former Nokia-led division, since sold off to a private equity group, revealed the new Vertu Ti earlier this week, a $10k+ Android smartphone clad in sapphire crystal, titanium, and leather; the Ti would have had a Windows Phone sibling, Vertu told ZDNet, if it wasn't for development hassles.

According to the report, "the complexity of building for Windows Phone" is what scuppered the two OS strategy, though no specifics were cited. The issue may be one of capacity, however, with head of concept and design Hutch Hutchinson highlighting how much effort goes into each Vertu device.

Although price is usually the first thing that Vertu devices are noted for, often closely followed by scorn around the generally mid-tier specifications, Hutchinson says the target audience (the ridiculously wealthy) aren't so concerned with either factor. Instead, it's the trouble inherent in using things like sapphire crystal - which must be grown over a two week period - which also caused headaches back when Vertu was a Nokia subsidiary.

There, Hutchinson says, Vertu was "always the black sheep of the family" and faced "a lot of resentment" from the more mainstream Nokia teams. Since Nokia was wary of tipping off other phone manufacturers that it had identified a potential audience of price-no-object shoppers, it insisted that Vertu operate for four years in isolation, only being revealed once the first Symbian-powered model was ready to launch.

With Symbian out of the way, Vertu will be using Android "for the foreseeable future" Hutchinson confirms. Exactly how many Ti handsets the company actually hopes to sell is unclear, but given spotting another person with the same luxury phone is probably something owners would prefer to avoid, exclusivity is arguably key.


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