updated 10:30 pm EST, Wed December 7, 2011
Company said to be selling off Vertu division
Nokia is reportedly attempting to step away from the luxury market, which it had engaged for more than a decade through the Vertu brand. The Finnish phone maker is said to be seeking a buyer for the Vertu division, as the company continues to shift its corporate strategy to focus on smartphones and devices for budget-conscious consumers.
Vertu represents a stark contrast from Nokia's core offerings, pairing bold luxury designs with expensive materials such as precious metals and gemstones. Buyers are also able to connect to the company's 'concierge' service, enabling quick access to a live assistant who can help book reservations and provide other help.
As mainstream buyers in recent years have gravitated toward smartphones, the Vertu line was late to catch up with features offered by the iPhone and Android handsets. The company recently introduced the Constellation, which offers modern smartphone hardware, such as an AMOLED display and eight-megapixel camera, along with luxury elements including sapphire crystal and alligator skin.
Sources familiar with the matter have told Financial Times the divestment proposal has been met with interest from private equity groups, while other luxury brands are expected to consider the purchase.