Skip to main content

Smartphone maker Vertu will close U.K. manufacturing operations, cut 200 jobs

vertu closing constellation 01
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Vertu, a company known for building extravagant, handmade mobile phones, will cease its manufacturing operations in the United Kingdom, according to the Financial Times. An estimated 200 jobs are expected to be lost in the closure.

Vertu is facing a debt of 138 million pounds (about $178 million) and the company will now be forced to liquidate the facility after owner Murat Hakan Uzan could only offer 1.9 million pounds to cover the deficit. Uzan will retain the Vertu brand and its assets and reportedly hopes to resurrect the product line in the future.

Uzan only purchased Vertu in March and in June, sealed a partnership with TCL, the manufacturer of Alcatel and BlackBerry devices. TCL was to supply the luxury handset maker with advanced technology as part of the deal, which totaled an estimated $40 million and would have covered 30,000 units.

However, things began to fall apart quickly after the announcement. A report from the Telegraph emerged, citing overdue wages and payments to suppliers. At the same time, Uzan came under fire from Vertu’s previous owner, Gary Chen, regarding unpaid funds relating to the sale. Uzan claimed the company’s financial issues were concealed from him until after he assumed ownership, and the two sides have been threatening legal action.

As for Vertu, Thursday’s news marks what is likely to be the end of a chapter for the company. Nokia established the brand in 1998, with an attitude of building phones with the same level of attention and craftsmanship typically found in designer watches. As of 2013, Vertu operated 500 retail stores worldwide.

At the moment, other aspects of the company have not been affected by the manufacturing shutdown, though that is likely to change in the coming weeks. We will keep you updated as the situation unfolds.

Vertu’s latest device is the Constellation. Released in February, the phone features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, runs Android 7.0 Nougat (with an update), and features a sapphire-coated display. At a starting price of $6,000, it slots in beneath the company’s New Signature Touch, which begins at $9,000 and lacks the more expensive model’s more dramatic design touches — like a spring-loaded gull-wing door for the SIM card.

Editors' Recommendations

Adam Ismail
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Adam’s obsession with tech began at a young age, with a Sega Dreamcast – and he’s been hooked ever since. Previously…
Speed is everything: Using 5G in the U.K. on the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G
oneplus 7 pro 5g uk ee test feat

5G is here. No, really, it is. There have been times over the past days when my phone has not only claimed it had a 5G connection — and not 5GE or something silly — but backed it up with some very impressive performance too. I’ve been testing the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G on U.K. network EE’s recently-launched 5G network, and while my initial statement is absolutely true, I didn't see spectacular download speeds a majority of the time.

EE’s 5G network is available in six cities around the U.K. including London, but as we've seen with Verizon in Chicago, it’s not blanket coverage; but rather you’ll just find small pockets of fast 5G speeds as you move around the city. Every other time you make do with 4G LTE. EE supplied me with a map pinpointing where I’d definitely find 5G, but it did pop up on my phone in other areas too.

Read more
Realme starts selling phones in the U.K., and its low prices aren’t fiction
realme 3 pro uk news back



Read more
Where to buy the new Samsung Galaxy S10 range in the U.K.
Samsung Galaxy s10e hands-on

The Galaxy S10 range is yours to buy right now, following a very successful pre-order period in the United Kingdom. How successful? More S10 phones have been pre-ordered than any Samsung phone before it, according to the company, with the S10 Plus taking 57 percent of the sales. The prism black version has proven most popular across the range.

Want to get one for yourself? If you know which model you want, or even if you haven’t decided yet, we’ve gathered together the best U.K. deals here. If you’re in the U.S. and are looking for ways to buy the Galaxy S10, all the best U.S. deals are here.
Pre-orders, prices, and release date
The three Galaxy S10 phones — the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus, and the Galaxy S10e — were released on March 8.
How about the prices?
Galaxy S10 — 8GB/128GB costs 800 British pounds. 8GB/512GB costs 1,000 British pounds.

Read more