Vertu launches $11,000 luxury Android handset

  • Luxury smartphone maker Vertu launched its first Android-operated handset on Tuesday.

    With a price tag of close to $11,000, the Vertu Ti is made at the firm's headquarters in Hampshire, England.

    The device boasts a titanium frame and sapphire screen but is not 4G-enabled, according to its designer Hutch Hutchison.

    Until last year, the company was owned by Nokia and produced highly priced handsets designed for the Symbian operating system.

    Chief executive Perry Oosting said Vertu chose Android over Windows as an operating system because it was more established.

    "Your device will have to integrate with other devices. I think the Windows phone will have success but it is still a relatively small market share. At the moment it doesn't have the global reach of Android, which is about 60 percent of the market,” added Oosting.

    Vertu handsets can only be bought in 500 global retail outlets, 70 of which are the company's own boutiques.

    The firm does not release figures but says sales have risen every year for the past decade, with the exception of 2008 when investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed.

    There are an estimated 326,000 Vertu smartphone owners across the globe with  China being its biggest market.

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