Funnily enough, charging ££££s for trashy bling-phones wasn't a great idea

Et tu, Vertu? Then fall, geezers

Vertu, the British smartphone maker known for its obscenely expensive blinged-out handsets, will shut down over an apparent lack of interest in obscenely expensive blinged-out handsets.

The bust biz, which did not return a request for comment, was wound up this week in London's High Court. It will liquidate assets and put about 200 people out of work. This comes after a bailout effort from new owner Murat Hakan Uzan failed after Vertu was found to be £128m ($168m) in the red.

Launched as a division of Nokia and later spun off as its own operation, Vertu made headlines over the years for the eye-popping price tags it affixed to its lines of Android mobile phones. The handsets, at times branded by the likes of Ferrari, were kitted with jewel and rare metal casings.

Presented as luxury items for the rich and/or tacky, the handsets routinely cost thousands of pounds and were touted for their craftsmanship and artistic design, in an effort to help justify the cost.

Unfortunately for Vertu, it appears there simply weren't enough people in the world willing to fork out half a year's rent for a stock Android handset with a blinged-out case design.

Uzan will keep control of the Vertu trademarks and patents with an eye on eventually relaunching the company through a separate corporation. In the meantime, those who want to boost their own self-esteem by paying out the nose for a smartphone can take solace in the reports that Apple's next iPhone will come with a price tag of more than $1,200 (£916). ®

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