Luxury phone maker Vertu to "usher in touchscreens"


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the owner of the phone doesn’t need modern technology, he most likely has people doing those jobs for him.

“And this part of the complex houses my app specialists,” the duke said, gesturing with a beringed hand.

“You mean, you develop apps, your excellency?”

He rolled his eyes. “No, silly, they operate the apps for me. One doesn’t condescend to using touchscreens; no matter how clean one’s hands are, they always end up smeared.” He moved along the row of desks, pausing next to a thin, intense young man, bent over his iPad like a monk illuminating a manuscript. “Nikolai, for example, is my Angry Birds specialist.”

I caught a glimpse of the screen. “I… I had no idea that that level even existed.”

Nikolai favored me with a very brief, contemptuous glance. “No, you wouldn’t.


Promoting that one to the post, sir.

Thorstein Veblen LOLed heartily.

You left off the money shot, Rob: how much will it set you back?

We need to assign a numerical value (preferably a high one) to the phone so we can have an excuse to think of rich folks as gullible saps and smirk at them accordingly.

Less laughable than I expected. In fact, pretty awesome. I would think a lot of makers on BB would enjoy spending some time at this factory.

That’s the tragedy of it. It it were almost any other business, Vertu would be something to treasure and cherish: a small, high-tech, handmade maker of premium goods. A Dr Martens of Memes, a Lotus of the Lulz.

But it’s making these ghastly cargo-cult phones. It’s like a sick joke about British manufacturing.


“Usher” in this context may mean less “to introduce” than it does “cursed family of wealthy inbreds facing long-overdue extinction.”

Is the ringtone the shrieks of one’s buried-alive sister?

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But Boris Johnson told me rich people have high IQs!

Luke Skywalker said it best:

"What a piece of junk!"

I wonder if these photos actually do justice to how the phones look if you had one in front of you. I thought one of them had grooved plastic and then it turned out to be alligator hide. After that I began to wonder if leather and hides are their signature materials to distinguish them from the myriad of patterned plastic covers out there. Too bad the photos make them indistinguishable from plastic.

The value clearly doesn’t come from the materials, either (the tiny strip of alligator leather used might set you back $20 at most, for example); the brand name obviously has the greatest value. Which is the absurdity - the name has value only because the products cost so much. It’s exactly like that $5000 Vegas hamburger - you’re spending the money purely for the “status” of having (pointlessly) spent that much money…

Life would be a bit more fair if this principle would be applied to all items of daily use: the rich only get to use shitty versions of our stuff and they´re all made of impracticable luxury materials. Their cars would be platin-plated Ladas, barely able to gather speed because of the extra weight, their clothes made of spun gold in gaudy designs, scratching their skin bloody, they´d have to be very careful when eating their cereal in the morning, because it is laced with tiny diamonds and also tastes like fish oil.

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Is this really all that different from luxury automatic watches that keep worse time than cheap terrorist watches and offer less features, but are no less desirable for that?

These things are pretty gauche, but they do look nicer in the flesh (the only time I’ve ever seen them was during a wander around Harrods). Okay, they don’t make sense to those who want bleeding edge tech, but that isn’t the target market. I’m sure you can get Swarovski encrusted iPhones anyway, if you like

All this talk of uber expensive product being less functional reminds me of the business of Enterprise Software. (Which in my career I have both used and produced)

Basically: the more expensive the software, the more people are willing to put up with crazy glaring bugs. The cheaper it is, the more perfect they expect it to be.

Does it make sense, based off of the idea that the size of the user base determines how much QA goes into a product? (Or more likely how many bugs are reported per release cycle?)

The phones are ugly. Hopelessly ugly. If I was selecting a phone by a look, I would never choose this one. But, I wouldnt select sofa from Versace or suitcase made by Luis Vuitton either, so my tastes might be weird :wink:
Plus, that phone will be obsolete in the next six months. Now that I think about it, its internals must be obsolete today.

If I had money to burn, I would purchase one of those just released Yota phones with e-ink display on the back. But … if I was that rich (as rich as a typical Vertu customer), I could probably have a personal assisntant that would lug a dozen of leather bound paper books for me ewerywhere.

It’s exactly as grotesque and pathetically attention-seeking as that, yes. They’re targeting the same “wealthy, status-obsessed asshole” market.

Fully hand-made mechanical precision watches are an artistic algorithm, absolute accuracy is not the point.

Indeed, why make an Android phone? License the Blackberry! Bring back the Palm Treo! Now there’s cachet.

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Not sure why. They are spending all this time making something carefully that’s a piece of shit.
I have an addiction to American made boots and shoes like Alden, Allen Edmonds, Red Wing, 1000 Mile Wolverine, etc…
They are made with excellent materials and attention to detail. Compared to cheap, Chinese made boots and shoes, they look better, feel better and will last a lifetime.
These phones are just shiny.