Lots of uninformed comments here. Heh, also earth is flat.
Vertu was a little boutique arm of Nokia well before iThing was around.
Their phones/devices were a niche thing, but a fair niche - quality casings, impeccable service. When you are earning on the order of thousands an hour a downtime of few hours pays for itself.
Some time ago they were providing a concrete value add on. On top of 6320i and then S40.
They made the bad bad mistake of mixing up with Android. For some time it was okay since stock Android was still a good experience, but ... then it no longer was.
Yes, their market has been taken over by iThing, sometimes with bling, but more often than not just as default. Somehow target market is happy with it.
Shame on 200 really talented guys still sticking it out, but ... well, it didn't work out.