Feeds

Nokia to sell off luxury phone brand

Gem-encrusted blower biz on block

High performance access to file storage

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 into the hands of a private equity group. Vertu's profit, as part of Nokia, isn't public, but the FT pegs an annual revenue somewhere between €200m and €300m – which isn't bad for a company that re-cases mid-range Nokia handsets.

The brand was created in 1998, but didn't manage to ship one of its hand-crafted-precision-engineered handsets until 2001. These days Vertu has around 600 outlets, but you won't see many on the high street, as they're tucked inside Harrods or situated in the kind of shopping mall which only welcomes the unreasonably rich.

The handsets are pretty, one might even go so far as to say stylish in being understated rather than the gauche blanket of gemstones which adorn so many hundred-thousand-pound handsets*. But Vertu is certainly in that price bracket, with even the most-basic model costing several grand despite being rewrapped Nokia technology. That's in part 'cos of the concierge service which comes with the handset: a button on the side which summons aid from a constantly available staff. Anyone buying the company may well have an eye on that service, which engenders customer loyalty as well as providing some ongoing revenue from commission on booking flights and such like.

The business is certainly a long way from Nokia's core, and with Nokia rearranging itself as a supplier of Microsoft-running hardware it's not surprising to see peripheral businesses being flogged off.

Today's Vertu handsets are Symbian-based, as a Nokia subsidiary Vertu is tied to its parent's technology with Windows Phone expected to follow, though with a new owner that could change even if the appearance, and engineering, are unlikely to do so. ®

* We once asked a supplier about the security of such handsets, and were informed that their customers already had bodyguards so mugging and theft were less of a risk.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.