Vertu, the luxury phone-maker that was owned by Nokia until last year, has launched its first Android mobile -- the £6,700 Vertu Ti (check out the hands-on video below). I sat down with company boss Perry Oosting, who revealed that Google's operating system has been on the company's mind for some time.
In past years, Vertu has crafted very pricey but ultimately useless phones running Symbian, the doomed operating system that was famously favoured by Nokia. When asked whether Vertu had wanted to use Android for a long time but hadn't been able to, Oosting told me, "Absolutely."
Speaking of the "freedom" that came with the split from Nokia, the man at the top says, "it's giving you, really, to make the right choice. And we believe with Android that it's the right choice."
Windows Phone is in its 'beginning stage'
"You need to be first of all -- as you know -- part of an ecosystem", Oosting continues, explaining why Vertu opted for Google's green robot. "If you go down to ecosystems you probably have only two choices. Besides, iOS is a closed one, so that's not a choice, and then you have Windows Phone, which is certainly a beautiful user interface but it's still in the beginning stage."
Massive market share was ultimately the reasons behind choosing Google's platform, Oosting says, though cites "the customisation that we were able to do on Android" as another factor.
I've had some hands-on time with the Vertu Ti (pronounced tee-eye, don'cha know), which cites titanium, sapphire crystal and rubies in its list of ingredients. The Ti is drastically too expensive to recommend over more capable mobiles like the Nexus 4, iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S3, but the presence of Android Ice Cream Sandwich does make it more pleasant to use than anything else the company has built in the last few years.
What do you expect to see in a phone that costs nearly seven grand? Is Android destined to rule the smart phone world, or will Windows Phone triumph eventually? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.