August 20, 2013
High-end smartphone manufacturer Vertu is expanding its product line to offer a candy bar inspired-smartphone that comes with unique ringtones and a chocolate exterior.
The Vertu Signature Pure Chocolate phone’s color and special features make it stand out from other phones from Vertu. By adding new colors and features, Vertu may inspire consumers to get new phones without creating a whole new device.
"Signature remains a very popular model with Vertu customers, particularly those that place huge value on long battery life," said Ignacio Germande, head of total product offering at Vertu, Oxford, England. "It also suits people looking for perhaps a second phone that allows them to stay connected without being bombarded by emails.
"Signature Chocolate replicates previous color ways that were produced and that are also always very popular with our customers," he said. "The warmth of the color means that it's of equal appeal to both men and women."
The new Vertu Signature Pure Chocolate smartphone comes in rich brown color to mimic the color of a chocolate bar.
Vertu Signature Pure Chocolate phone
The phone comes with a brown leather cover, sapphire crystal keys, a ceramic pillow that reflects the shape of the ear for comfort while listening and a stainless steel case.
The phone contains many of the same features included in Vertu’s Signature collection, which also includes a number of black, white and gold phones in stainless steel.
Also, the Signature Pure Chocolate smartphone offers a high-resolution display, key switches that feature jeweled bearings and a high-fidelity loudspeaker with dual sound ports.
Exclusive ringtones are available to make the phone stand out from other smartphones on the market. Recordings from the London Symphony Orchestra play for ringtones and alerts.
The phone can be purchased at Vertu boutiques for $16,000.
This new color allows Vertu to push a new product and stand out among other smartphone manufacturers.
“Various unique color options may serve to placate some of those who feel a new version isn't enough of an upgrade from previous versions, simply because it looks the same,” said Matt Hunter, channel manager at Impact Radius, Santa Barbara, CA.
“But other bells and whistles definitely give Vertu phones personal added value,” he said.
Calling on luxury
Recently, other brands have launched new products in the high-end smartphone category.
For instance, London department store Harrods partnered with Geneva-based jeweler Savelli-Genève to release a luxury smartphone designed with affluent women in mind.
Savelli-Genève marries technology with design through a series of handmade Google Android smartphones. Crafted similar to a high-end jewelry collection, the Savelli-Genève smartphone collection will be sold in Harrods’ Fine Jewelery Room (see story).
In addition, Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer targeted affluent travelers with its Meridiist smartphones equipped with features similar to its timepieces.
TAG Heuer transferred aspects from its watches, such as a formidable battery life and optimal time-displays, to the Merediist smartphone to ensure that users have a coherent communication experience while traveling. The watchmaker has previously carried its sensibilities into other product markets including eyewear and will likely use the lessons it learned to protect its brand equity (see story).
Although it seems that Vertu has an increase in competitors in the marketplace, the brand is likely to attract and retain consumers with its handcrafted smartphones.
“Having owned a Vertu, I can honestly say that there are significant features that make it more appealing to other phones on the market,” Mr. Hunter said.
“Such as it being handcrafted with an impressive loudspeaker, scratch-proof screen, symphonic ringtones, titanium case, incredible clear sound and even a 24/7 concierge service,” he said. “But those features also come with a much higher cost.”
Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York