Famed Nokia Exec, Anssi Vanjoki, is now in control of Vertu. Bring it ON!

Yes, you read that right.

Anssi Vanjoki, one of the most influential people in Nokia’s rise to the top is back. He left the company shortly after Stephen Elop arrived and we haven’t heard too much from him since. But I’ve had my eyes peeled looking to see what, if anything, he would be doing next.

It turns out we might actually have something rather exciting to witness shortly.

Vanjoki doesn’t pull any punches.

He wasn’t a typical cut-n-paste Nokia suit. I liked the chap immensely whenever I met him. If only, I used to think, Anssi could just make shit happen. Because when you talked to him, he got it. He got the ramifications of the iPhone. He got the changing mobile world message when it seemed most of Nokia was pointing the other way. In fairness of course, he also presided over a rather negative period of Nokia’s history. Blame for the company’s predicament can’t be assigned only to Anssi of course. It was Anssi, for example, who was the first to actually apologise to the planet (on a Mobile Industry Review video interview, no less) for the utter disaster that was the Nokia N97. This, if you recall, was supposed to be Nokia’s answer to the iPhone. Well, not really. The N97 was heading along a different (shocking) trajectory and it just arrived into the iPhone world, looking like something from yesteryear.

Still, Vanjoki had the balls to admit the issue. His statements on the interview we filmed (and published also on Rafe’s All About Symbian site) went some way to calm a lot of seriously annoyed Nokia fans.

So. Vanjoki is back, according to TechCrunch — this time, at Vertu, the makers of ultra-high-quality stupidly-expensive handsets. Formerly owned by Nokia, Vertu is now in the hands of a new owner, EQT and we’ve been waiting to hear what that means.

I should point out that Jordan and Steve over at TechCrunch were careful to describe that they got the news from “sources”. Nothing has been confirmed as yet. These sources also reckoned that Vertu will shortly be switching from using Symbian to Android.

I’m not surprised.

I never bothered to buy a Vertu because of Symbian. Yes the operating system is reliable and proven. But when the device starts at £3,500 (or thereabouts), I want a little bit more than the same stuff running a £15 handset only differentiated by a theme and a few apps.

The Vertu devices, by the way, are phenomenally engineered. If you ever get a chance to check one out, I strongly recommend doing so — admire the weight, the build quality, the way in which the device oozes sophistication.

Symbian always let them down, in my view. Of course the Arabs and Russians who buy them like sweeties were doing so for status. Although I reckoned a lot of them also owned an iPhone or Android device just so they could do things with apps.

A Vertu device running Android — proper, decent Android — could well be rather exciting. That turns my head.

The TechCrunch chaps reckon Windows Phone might have been a better ‘quality’ option. I think they do have a point there too.

Either way I am hopeful — we might see some exciting fireworks from the company soon.

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  • http://twitter.com/najeebster Najeeb Khan

    If they are going to use an open OS then I would vote for Android.
    At least that way you can keep s/w relatively up-to-date, have customisable skins and access to some worthy apps and services.

    If I was an Arab/Chinese/Russian buying one of these, I would find the device infinitely more useful with Android on it rather than Symbian….I seem to remember the original devices were S40 many years ago.

    Would I buy one? No. I could a very decent watch for the entry level price of a Vertu and wear that as an ostentatious badge of perceived wealth and importance instead.
    But then I’m not in the Vertu target market.

    I would love it Samsung, Sony et al launched some luxury sub-brands – perhaps not quite in the Vertu price bracket but more akin to the Nokia 8xxx series of yesteryear or the Porsche Design Blackberry launched last year.

  • http://stoli89.myopenid.com/ stoli89

    IMHO, Vertu is nothing more than tech bling. If this kinda thing is really necessary for someone, then he/she is better off simply buying an IOS, Android, or WP flagship and covering it with an ostentatiously expensive case.

  • http://twitter.com/Alvetica Al Pavangkanan

    I wonder if Jolla could be used instead of Android.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    I think that might be a step too far unless they’re utterly confident about the capabilities of Jolla in the wider market given the fact the Vertu customer won’t readily accept any issues.

  • http://antoinerjwright.com Antoine RJ Wright

    If I were Vanjoki, and the platform were solid enough for it, without and with the need for some of the major (read: louder) social platforms supporting it, going with MeeGo or Jolla would actually make all kinds of sense. Forget the whole open source thing and go to where Vertu is a limited access and unique platform that plays not just off of an exclusivity feeling, but also in the fact that it can do things that other mobile players can’t or won’t do.

    It would be like the W12 engine that Audi/VW wanted to use and Bentley appropriating it. An ecosystem of mechanics, accessory providers, and even marketing could be designed around this unique and “not running like normal” player. Vertu could do the same thing. I don’t know that they will, but they could – and it would actually be a smart play on their end. Vanjoki knows this, I wonder how, or if, he would push it.

    In light of that analogy, think of a MeeGo Vertu that has a developer or developer team specifically assigned to build apps for the user. This would be in addition to the concierge services that Vertu already does. And it would make for a small cottage industry of dev-platform franchisers who could literally make a living out of being a application butler for Vertu customers. Makes sense to me, would be hard as beans to pull off (I think).

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