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Agence France-Presse
October 16, 2012
The exclusive mobile phone maker has decided against Windows 8 and chosen a less than exclusive operating system to power future models. For lucky owners of a Vertu luxury phone, there's good news and potentially bad news. The company famous for its exclusive handsets that incorporate expensive materials including carbon fibre, titanium, leather and even gold, with a concierge button, is dropping its Symbian operating system in favor of Android.

The decision is believed to be linked to reports that appeared in the press over the weekend that Nokia has sold the business to EQT, a private equity group (though it will retain a small stake in the company). And while Nokia has been looking to sell the business since June, as all Vertu phones are based on Nokia technology and components, it was believed that Vertu, like its now ex-parent company, would move over to the Windows 8 operating system.

Popular with NBA stars, rappers and Premier League footballers alike, Vertu was the original luxury handset, the mobile phone equivalent of the American Express black card. But since the launch of the Ulysse Nardin Chairman -- which combines the best elements of a smartphone wih the best of a handcrafted Swiss chronograph and was recently named by the Guinness Book of Records the world's most expensive mobile phone series (handsets are strictly limited and can cost up to $100,000) -- it has been slowly slipping into second place in the category it created.