Nokia has hired Goldman Sachs to help them in the sale of their designer phone brand, Vertu. If you've never heard the name before, then you're definitely not alone. Since 1998 Vertu has been among the most exclusive names in mobile phone design, building a range of hand made handsets which have been known to cost in excess of $300,000 each. Incredibly, the phones can be bought in more than sixty countries across the world, and have proven to be particularly popular in the Middle East.
If you're wondering what on earth could be included in these phones to justify that kind of price tag, you might be surprised to learn that it's not top of the range technology. The handsets feature nothing particularly special aside from two main thing. Firstly, their design is usually a hell of a lot different to traditional consumer handsets, featuring diamond encrusted facades or gold trims, which can look quite tacky in our opinion.
The second difference, and this is something you won't be finding on your iPhone or BlackBerry any time soon is the concierge service - a button which, incredibly, can be pressed in order to have a team of specialists at the other end help you by calling you a cab, booking you a dinner reservation and much more. It's not a service we've seen in person, disappointingly, but we would imaging that calling this service isn't all that much different to ordering the bloody things yourself. Why not just cut out the middle men and do your own dirty work or, if you're that rich, let your butler do it?
But we digress, the company is being offloaded despite the fact that it was one of the best performers for Nokia last year, and traditionally earns the company around $300 million per year. The thinking being that it's not really a good fit for the overall Nokia brand, which has traditionally focussed on the more affordable side of the wireless communications business.