LUXURY mobile phone maker Vertu has switched to the Android operating system, with prices starting at £6,500 (€7,500) and rising to £14,000.
Previously wholly owned by Nokia, Vertu has shifted to the popular Android operating system but retained its use of exotic and precious materials and a dedicated button to speak to a private concierge service.
It had previously used Symbian, the operating system that Nokia itself abandoned for Windows phone.
The new Vertu Ti uses a polished titanium case, and marks the company’s first release since it was bought by investment vehicle EQT. The 3.7” screen can only be scratched by diamonds.
Vertu President and chief executive Perry Oosting conceded that the shift in operating system made the Ti the company’s most important product in a generation. “Vertu Ti is our most significant product for a decade. The Android OS delivers a proven and intuitive environment for users while the design and craftsmanship of the handset remains uniquely Vertu.”
Vertu’s designs are made by hand at its factory in Church Cookham, Hampshire, with each device signed by the person who makes it. Although a 1.7GHz Snapdragon processor is a marked improvements on previous models, the use of Android 4 and an 8MP camera is still not top of the Android range. It also features 64MB of memory and a dedicated series of apps and back-up software.
Massimiliano Pogliani, Vertu’s Global Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, claimed “Vertu TI is the most rounded product that we have ever designed.”
Vertu will offer the Ti in Titanium and black leather as well as Alligator and gold mixed metals, at prices ranging from €7,900 to €16,500.