x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Vertu’s latest fancy mobile phone – a bargain at Dh25,400

Vertu, which makes highly expensive mobile phones, has launched its most affordable handset in the UAE yet – but even that comes at a steep price.

Vertu’s handset, the Constellation, sells for Dh25,400. Courtesy Jason Butcher / Vertu
Vertu’s handset, the Constellation, sells for Dh25,400. Courtesy Jason Butcher / Vertu

Vertu, a maker of highly expensive mobile phones, has launched its most affordable handset in the UAE yet – a mere Dh25,400.

That is the price of the Constellation, a bargain compared with the Ti, which went on sale this year for Dh39,500.

“It is a new segment for us,” said Vertu’s chief executive, Massimiliano Pogliani, who was in Dubai this week for the Constellation’s launch. “This phone has a different price point, a different design. It is more contemporary, more modern I would say, covering both segments, both male and female, whereas before our offer was pretty much very male-skewed.”

The phone might be cheap for a Vertu, and have only 135 parts compared with the Ti’s nearly 200, but it still costs five times as much as the costliest mass-produced mobiles.

Featuring calf leather from one of Europe’s oldest tanneries, the Constellation comes in a galaxy of colours, including raspberry and cappuccino, which are designed to appeal to women, in addition to black, mocha and orange.

“I believe we will attract new customers to the brand with this one, both male and female, so it is a possibility for us to enlarge the market and to grow within the category,” said Mr Pogliani.

Vertu, which makes all of its phones in England by hand, will not reveal how many phones it sells in the Middle East, only that this is its second largest market after the Asia-Pacific region. It operates six mono-brand boutiques in the UAE alone.

“We have people coming in our stores every day and the more we have products like this, covering different designs and price points, the more we will have the possibility to close a sale every time we have a customer in the store,” said Mr Pogliani.

If you expect to receive Vertu’s legendary concierge service, which entitles users to book restaurants, buy gifts and obtain a host of other services by calling a network of “lifestyle managers” after buying a Constellation handset, you will be disappointed.

“This one is without concierge,” Mr Pogliani said.

“It has all the privilege parts, so we still have all the benefits associated to a Vertu customer of access to private members’ clubs or closed-door events. The concierge service is reserved for the other model … I believe also in the services we are offering we also want to differentiate between the segments.”

gduncan@thenational.ae