Re: I hate to say this...
"That business model worked out well for Vertu"
I think that what really killed Vertu was two things:
1. Google apps are nearly as good as the concierge service was, these days. Sometimes Google is freakily like my one time PA (have you remembered it's so-and-so's birthday next week?)
2. The prices were taking the piss given that the phones became technically outdated in a year and the guts could not be replaced.