Luxury smartphone Vertu will close down. Getty

Boutique smartphone manufacturer Vertu has closed down, according to the BBC. The luxury smartphone company is currently in the process of liquidating its assets and 200 employees are expected to lose their jobs.

The news also caps a period of high uncertainty for Vertu. In 2015, the company was sold to a group of Hong Kong-based investors and, as The Telegraph noted, was then sold again this March to Murat Hakan Uzan, a Turkish exile based in Paris. However, Uzan’s planned deal for the company failed to pass muster with British officials. Uzan had originally proposed to buy the company for £1.9 million, but Vertu had listed deficits of £128 million.

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In a statement via The Telegraph, a Vertu spokesperson said the proposed acquisition failed due to these differences.

“Our best efforts to achieve a pre-pack administration have failed because the financial requirements specified within the negotiations went beyond the point where the new company had a chance of financial viability,” Vertu said.

The British company was originally founded by Nokia in 1998 and specialized in selling upscale smartphones aimed at similarly upscale buyers. Its phones regularly started at around $6,000 and specialty models had even higher price tags, some upwards of $50,000. While Vertu phones regularly featured luxury components like gold and jewels, they often were slightly behind the curve on the inside. For instance, the company didn’t introduce a phone with Google Android until 2013.

Vertu has not launched a new product since 2015, but had briefly looked into new product sectors. In a 2015 interview with International Business Times UK, former CEO Max Pogliani said the company was looking into launching a smartwatch, but wanted to be cautious about entering a new market.

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"For me, more than simply talking about watches there is the category of wearables [and this] will be interesting in the future,” Pogliani said. “But for me it's not just about the watch, it's what you do. Big data, what you capture and what you do with this data, will be more important; connecting all the devices, this will be the future and then we will be working on that, trying to give our answer."

While Vertu was a clear outlier among smartphone companies thanks to its luxury price tag, the company’s collapse still illustrates the difficulty of making an impact in the smartphone marketplace today. While companies like Sony and LG maintain a regular presence in the marketplace with their releases, the field is still dominated by Samsung and Apple. Via analyst firm IDC, the worldwide market share for smartphones in the first quarter of 2017 was led by Samsung, Apple and Chinese manufacturer Huawei.