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Vertu’s New Chinese Smart Phone


Vertu has released its new $ 11,000 TI handset and in the process has ditched Nokia’s Symbian OS in favour of the Android operating system. A decision which seems informed by the luxury brand’s largest single market, China, where Android is particularly dominant with a 90% market share.

To justify its ridiculous price tag, the TI boasts a scratch-resistant sapphire screen, a titanium frame, “symphonic sound tuned in collaboration with Bang & Olufsen”, an eight-megapixel camera, 64 gigabytes of memory and the brand’s USP, the Vertu Concierge button, which now comes with Protector Services Group (PSG), which ensures among many different utilities, a wealth preservation and bodyguard service – in case you happen to be a Russian oligarch, Chinese billionaire or Saudi oil baron.¬†Though, with its comparatively small screen and lack of 4G functionality, the TI remains very much a status driven rather than a rational purchase.

Although sales have been consistent of late for Vertu in China, it remains unclear if the nation’s recent crackdown on conspicuous consumption will affect future sales. In addition, despite having 32 points of sale across mainland China, the temptation of buying luxury items in fiscally advantageous Hong Kong and Macau ¬†remains great for many clients, thereby potentially eroding future sales for the brand.