Here ’ s a sad, and somewhat absurd, coda to the tale of Vertu, Nokia ’ s wrong turn into making bling-tastic smartphones encrusted with diamonds and gold: a servant in China sentenced of stealing one from her employer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 20,000 yuan (over $ 3,000).
The tale, as published in the English edition of the Chinese Individuals ’ s Daily Online, notes that Ms Zhang Yun ’ s defense was that she had actually not recognized the value of the phone when she took it, and did so in the first place since she had actually not been paid. The occurrence taken place in Henan Province.
“ I didn ’ t understand the mobile phone was so expensive, ” she had actually advised the court, according to the article. “ I don ’ t understand anything about the law and I thought the mobile phone was just worth one or 2 thousand yuan to offset my salary. ”
In fact, the phone was a silver edition and was worth 68,000 yuan ($ 10,000) — a ludicrous amount of commission for a mobile phone anywhere, and also more so in a country with a per capita income of $ 7,600 (compare that to the U.S. where the per capita GDP is over $ 47,000).
Crazy costs, in essence, was one of the issues with the whole Vertu project to begin with: Nokia is a business built on massive volumes of smartphones, and the move into smaller-scale, higher-margin deluxe editions, paired with concierge services for those who purchased them, didn ’ t truly remove. On top of that, I think that Nokia probably mis-called the whole concept of status in mobile handsets: a high-grade tool like an iPhone or the newest Galaxy S III, or even the Lumia 900, is condition enough for many individuals, and if they emphasize something shining, there are replaceable covers for that.
So when push related to shove and Nokia began to think about methods it can quickly restructure in the face of expanding losses in its major device company, Vertu was a noticeable candidate for the chop. A 90 percent stake in the company is now being offered to exclusive outlay firm EQT for around 200 million; Nokia for now is hanging on to the remaining 10 percent. Back in China, a ton of people are up in arms over the severity of the sentence and fine — and they are taking to sites like Sina Weibo to discuss it. It ’ s hit a nerve maybe because it plays up on the long-standing, still-central idea of class struggle in the nation: “ catering to the rich while turning its back on the unsatisfactory ” is a traditional opinion. The Individuals ’ s Everyday notes that the court has defended its action, saying that the fine is proportionate to the value of the device. People are now rallying around Ms Zhang to deliver cost-free legal support for an appeal. Ms Zhang said that she
had meant to give the phone back to her boss when he had paid up what he owed her. In the meantime she ’ d buried it in a turnip pit (yes, the silver Vertu went into a turnip pit) and had intended to use it herself — a fact that was found on the monitoring cameras that the home had installed on its property (sounds like a wonderful employer, huh?). Ms Zhang had only been helping the household for just over 40 days when this occurred back in December 2011.
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