Finnish company Nokia founded Vertu in 1998 to make luxury phones for celebrities and the super rich, who love precious stones. It looked promising at one point of time with around 350,000 customers, but it never made it big. Now, the company has gone sideways after facing financial crunch and a slew of failed revival attempts.
As many as 200 employees will lose jobs in the wake of Vertu's liquidation.
Reports said the current owner Hakan Uzan, a Turkish exile in Paris, tried to save the company with a £1.9 million payment but it was too little against a deficit of £128 million with no creditors. Vertu is dead but Uzan will maintain the brand and technology.
"Well it's gone into liquidation and I'm not being paid by them any more," an external spokesman for Vertu told BBC.
Vertu was known for making luxury hand-made phones encrusted with jewel and precious materials. Its Signature range comes with a price tag starting at £11,100 and goes up to £39,100. However, the downfall was inevitable with the rise of high-end smartphones, especially Apple's iPhones. It also lost out to other companies that make customised smartphones with precious stones.
Besides the use of precious materials, the screens of some Vertu phones are protected by "unbreakable" synthetic sapphire glass, something that Apple is rumoured to be trying to incorporate into its iPhones.