The British company that made £11,000 jewel-encrusted smartphones is shutting down

Ignacio Germade and Zhang Zhen at a Vertu launch event in China.

Vertu, the British smartphone manufacturer that produced luxury smartphones, is closing after a failed attempt by its owner to save it from liquidation.

The Financial Times reports that Vertu Corporation Limited will close, causing the loss of up to 200 staff members.

Vertu produced its luxury smartphones from a manufacturing facility in Hampshire. Its smartphones featured details like embedded rubies and sapphires, 18 carat gold, and alligator leather.

Prices for the company’s Signature phones ranged from £11,100 for the stainless steel black leather model up to £39,100 for the Clous De Paris Red Gold model.

Vertu phone

The company’s smartphones included a 24-hour concierge service that could be accessed via a dedicated button on its phones. Vertu’s website says that “we have taken the difficult decision to suspend our current Vertu services and focus on developing a completely new, next generation suite of services, exclusively for our customers.”

“We plan to launch these new services from September 2017 and update this page closer to the launch with further information,” the site reads. Business Insider attempted to contact Vertu for comment but the company’s global press office did not have any working email addresses.

Vertu was acquired by Turkish exile Hakan Uzan for £50 million earlier this year. The company’s filings from 2014 showed that it made a loss of £53 million on sales of £110 million. Staff at Vertu’s Hampshire factory claimed in June that their wages were overdue

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