As Nokia struggles to establish itself as a worthy competitor to Apple and the Android bulldozer in the smartphone segment, the company is looking to sell off its wholly-owned luxury phone brand Vertu, reports the Financial Times.
Vertu, which sells some of the world’s most expensive ugly phones, was originally started by Nokia back in 1998.
Perhaps surprisingly, its business of selling mobile phones – which are priced higher than your average house or Ferrari sports car – has actually proved to be a good one, with annual revenue estimated to be between $268 million and $402 million.
Vertu’s luxury handsets are available for purchase in more than 60 countries, some with dedicated shops. The phones come with a “concierge” button that lets owners easily to speed dial a team of personal assistants to make all sorts of arrangements and reservations.
Other associated services include Vertu City Brief, a series of independent, curated guides to 200 cities around the world, and Vertu.me, an exclusive email account that enables a user’s phone emails, calendar and contacts to be backed up to “ultra-secure Vertu servers”.
According to the FT, Nokia has appointed Goldman Sachs to oversee the sale of Vertu, which may potentially be interesting to luxury goods brands and private equity firms.