back to article Nokia to sell off luxury phone brand

Nokia is planning to sell off Vertu, its wholly-owned luxury-phone brand, which sells basic mobile phones with classy cases to the overpaid. The FT reports the news, which Nokia hasn't yet confirmed, but the paper reckons Goldman Sachs has been appointed to oversee the sell-off, which is likely to see the UK-based Vertu put …

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  1. SiempreTuna

    "basic mobile phones with classy cases"

    .. the very definition of lipstick on a pig ..

  2. Babai
    Thumb Up

    Good riddance

    So long and thanks for all the fish .. errk cash

  3. stucs201
    Paris Hilton

    A yes, the concierge service

    Who needs siri if you can afford that?

    (Paris? Only icon that can afford one)

  4. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Symbian is cutting-edge for Vertu

    ... only the very latest Vertus are Symbian based. Previous models used (wait for it...) Series 40.

    The only time I saw one of these being used was when some Arab prince's one rang in front of me on Bond St in London. The phone was taken out, glanced at, then tossed backwards to the bag-man who made an excellent leg-slip catch and answered it.

    Beautifully made phones, and yes, the styling is "restrained", but only in comparison to the horrors coming out of TAG Heuer or the endless iPhone customisers. To the non-stinky-rich, though, they're way too ostentatious.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very sad news

    What phone will I buy now?

    - Sent by my concierge as dictated on my Vertu Constellation Quest

  6. James 51 Silver badge

    Nokia, a firm with plunging sales figures over the last few years is selling of a profitable part of the business that was actually selling phones? Did Microsoft not bung them enough cash or is Nokia in more trouble than they are letting on?

    1. tmTM

      Profit Estimated

      The profit was estimated at 2-300m, the amount of truth in that will become evident when whatever sucker buys the brand and released real figures after their first year in charge.

      I'm willing to bet someone has massaged the figures.

      1. John 62

        revenue vs profit

        The friendly article mentioned revenue of 200-300million, not profit.

        As Mr Bannatine says: turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.

    2. Neil 7
      WTF?

      Does seem bizarre

      It's apparently a _very_ profitable business, so why flog it off?

      Or did I miss that lesson in CEO Leadership Class 101?

  7. tmTM

    A whole lot of lol

    There are few things to keep us happy these days, but knowing the obscenely rich were walking around with phones so poor I wouldn't give one to my grandfather was certainly one of them.

    1. Andy Hards
      Devil

      If you polish a turd and cover it with gold

      Create desire and it becomes desirable for those with too much money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You don't need to do that

        Why cover it with gold? Just set something to be ott expensive and people would think it's gold.

    2. TheOtherJola
      Thumb Up

      You can't polish a turd

      but you can roll it in glitter.

      1. Bod

        In (former Soviet) Russia...

        ... even a turd covered in gold sells.

  8. DrXym Silver badge

    Concierge service

    I'd love to know why anyone, rich or not would consider this a good thing. Reminds me of those ludicrous buttons that appear on some Logitech keyboards - Shop, Travel etc. where you have a physical button which takes you off through some affiliate links.

    I bet the super rich have credit cards providers who are more than happy to toss in a concierge service as part of the deal. And if not them then doubtless there are dozens of similar services. No need for a poxy button on the phone.

  9. mdava

    "...sells basic mobile phones with classy cases to the overpaid"

    It's rare to see a business description that is both so concise and so accurate.

  10. Andy Fletcher

    How come I never heard about them?

    Oh wait...I'm poor.I'm as surprised as everyone else Nokia is selling something if it makes money. If recent news is anything to go by, the further we slip into economic chaos the more money the people at the top have got to spend on such frivolities. Sheesh - I sound like I should be in a tent outside a catheddral somewhere.

  11. Simon Rockman

    Property

    An interesting part of the deal with be the shops that Vertu owns in some of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. I understand some are owned rather than leased.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Revenue <> Profit

    That is all

  13. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Unanswered question

    What's Naomi Campbell going to be chucking at the help now?

    1. BigG
      Mushroom

      Probably something along the lines of..

      .. the common garden Nokia allegedly hurled by the Right Honourable member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of those ludicrous buttons that appear on some Logitech keyboards

    Or the button marked 'Refresh' just above the F5 key

  15. adnim Silver badge

    I for one

    would like to be rich enough to care. Although even if I was, I am certainly not conceited or foolish enough to buy one.

  16. Keep Refrigerated
    Holmes

    I suspect it has something to do with...

    Why I am paying for a concierge and a gold brick when the hoi polloi are walking around with mini-computers which have apps that book and check on their flight status, theatre, shopping, callendar, email and collate it all automatically without having to call up and go through the rigmerole of...

    "Yes, two tickets, Virgin Airlines please... No, Virgin Airlines... V-I-R-G... yes that's right!... hello, hello? $%3@*! Signal dropped! I'll have to call again when we get back to the hotel."

    Probably why Nokia's flogging it, they can see the writing on the wall.

    1. dogged

      It's not an iPhone

      Nokia phones rarely drop signal.

    2. Bod

      If you can't get a good signal to make a voice call, you can't get a good signal to do any of the fancy apps to work.

      The billionaire will have a dozen of these phones. One he's picked for the day and is just for bling. He doesn't use it, it's just for show, and there's no way he can be doing with messing with some geeky apps.

      He'll have given six others to his assistants/slaves and they can have them on different networks just to be sure of a good signal. They'll make the concierge call, and if they're VIP enough the concierge is personal to them, and all they need to say is "get me a flight leaving in 10 minutes". Concierge knows who it is, where they are, where they want to go based on their known schedule, and they'll sort the flight out. Virgin? Not likely. The private jet will be arranged. If it's not available, they'll buy one and have it fuelled and ready. Failing that, they'll buy Virgin.

  17. David Gosnell

    If I remember rightly...

    ... Vertu's "customisation" business also includes mil-spec secure comms stuff. That could well be an even more lucrative side of the business than the bling. Anyone who's been past Vertu's big building just outside Fleet in Hampshire will have noted it's probably one of the most sinister-looking facilities in the area - and that's saying something in an area where just about every other square yard is military owned.

  18. P. Lee Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Oh the irony...

    We are now a Microsoft house, so we are getting rid of the part of the company which does security and good service.

  19. simonjon
    Boffin

    Concierge my ass

    'Writing on the wall' from smartphone apps allowing you to book flights etc yourself?

    C'mon people. More like the fact that people who are happy to spend £5k-£10k on a Daewoo-esque outmoded blower have their own minions - who they can physically throw stuff at - who take care of such minutia...

    1. Keep Refrigerated

      Just proved my point

      And when those minions are done booking your flights and arranging your meetings, you still need to know what they are and where - hence the usefulness of a smartphone that integrates all that crap (scrapes your email and automatically adjusts your electronic diary), rather than relying on (a) a physical diary, (b) a person who follows you around telling you where to go and what to do or (c) thumbing it in with a 0-9 keypad into a limited and off-line phone calendar.

      Imagine the scenario you're off skiing in the alps, your PA/go-to guy or whatever calls to say that your publisher wants to discuss the 7th revision to your autobiography; titled "What I've done since you last read this autobiography". You get to say, just email me/add the details to my calendar and i'll read it/call when I get off this piste.

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