Luxury phone maker Vertu is in trouble

Luxury phone maker Vertu is in trouble

For anyone who understandably hasn’t heard of it, Vertu is the previously Nokia-owned luxury smartphone maker that tries to convince celebrities and the super rich to shell out up to $50,000 on extravagant devices made from materials such as sapphire and platinum. Vertu phones have tended to be ugly and underpowered, and its business model seems to rely on the adage that wealthy people love to decorate themselves with expensive, superficial accessories. It would appear that even those with money to burn still prioritize a decent smartphone experience, however, and Vertu may be finding that out the hard way.

According to UK newspaper The Telegraph, sources inside Vertu Corporation Ltd (VCL) allege that the British company is facing questions about unpaid pension contributions and overdue wages. This comes at a time when production of the phones is apparently running at reduced capacity and there is further uncertainty about the organization’s ownership since Turkish exile Murat Hakan Uzan took over the company in March. Little cause for optimism, by the sound of it.

VCL staff recently penned a letter demanding answers about thousands of pounds worth of pension contributions that have been deducted from wages without ever being paid into the corresponding pension scheme. This has been an ongoing issue since February, according to the allegations. The letter also claims that June wages were due on Tuesday, rather than Friday as the company’s lawyers maintain.

When Uzan acquired the company 3 months ago, he promised to invest in Vertu and help it realize its potential. That already seems like a false promise, and at…

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