Luxury phone maker Vertu is embracing Google’s Android operating system – for the low price of $10,000.
The company this week unveiled the Vertu Ti, a phone that will abandon the Symbian OS upon which Vertu has relied thus far in favor of Android. But even for $10,000, you won’t get the most recent version of Android. The Vertu Ti will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich rather than Jelly Bean.
“Vertu Ti is our most significant product for a decade. Android 4.0 delivers a proven and intuitive environment for users while the design and craftsmanship of the handset remain uniquely Vertu,” Perry Oosting, Vertu president, and CEO said in a statement. “Vertu has pioneered and led the luxury mobile phone sector since we began in the late 90s and the great depth of our knowledge and experience can be seen in Vertu Ti.”
Vertu posted a video (below) of the new device on its Facebook page. It touted the “flawless optical quality of the sapphire crystal screen,” as well as “the lightness of the titanium casing,” which provides “strength without compromise.”
The Vertu Ti includes musical punctuation from the London Symphony Orchestra, while the audio was developed in collaboration with Bang & Olufsen.
A new Vertu key, meanwhile, provides access to “our unique curated services.” A screenshot showed screens for Life, Concierge, and Certainty before flashing to a welcome screen that showed the phone’s owner options for the Kee Club in Hong Kong and Apollo Premiere at the Bolshoi in Moscow. Presumably, the Vertu Ti will operate as your own personal butler – with some suggestions that are a bit more high-brow than the neighborhood dive bar.
The Vertu Ti includes a 3.7-inch WVGA display, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and 1.3-megapixel front-facing one. There is 64GB of internal memory, and Vertu promised up to 7.2 hours of talk time.
The phone ships with a leather slipcase, chargers for the car and wall, data cables, a portable power pack, wired stereo headset, Micro and Nano SIM adapters, an “authenticity card,” and more.
With the Vertu Ti – which was handmade in England, the company said – “nothing will ever feel the same,” Vertu concluded.
Vertu was previously owned by Nokia, but the Finnish phone maker sold Vertu to EQT VI, a European private equity firm, in June 2012. Nokia has also been shifting away from Symbian, which has seen its global market share dwindle in recent months.