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YotaPhone Announces New Version of Russian Smartphone

Published: February 25, 2014 (Issue # 1798)



  • Yota has announced the next generation YotaPhone in Barcelona.
    Photo: YotaPhone.com

Just months after the first sales of the YotaPhone, the Russian entry into the lucrative smartphone market, the device's manufacturer presented a new version of the phone at a mobile conference in Barcelona on Monday.

The phone has struggled to break into a market dominated by tech giants like Apple and Samsung. The sales of the first model in Russia started in December 2013 and according to Yota Devices, about 12,000 phones have been sold over the last two months. By contrast, Apple sold more than 9 million units of its new iPhone models during its first weekend of sales in September.

Related: Yota Debuts New Phone In Europe

Industry analysts estimate that Russia's second stab at winning market share will have an easier time, as marketing efforts to promote the first model may have paved the way for the phones' brand.

Despite relatively low sales, the YotaPhone gained international attention last year for its dual-screen display. The new model includes two multi-touch control screens, adding on to the one-touchscreen device released last year. One screen is an always-on electronic paper display similar to e-readers, while the other resembles the 5-inch conventional display used in most smartphones.

The improvements in the next generation of YotaPhones are a result of crowd sourcing, said Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov. "The Android community — along with our partners, suppliers and retailers — love our dual-screen, always-on concept and have many great suggestions for taking it to the next level," he said.

Related: Medvedev Gives His iPhone a Russian Rival

Martynov did not specify how much investment the new model required, but an unidentified source in the company told Vedomosti that it was most likely several million dollars.

"The introduction of the new model seems rational because it looks like the company channeled a hefty sum into marketing to promote the first version, so it can now save on advertising costs," said Timur Nigmatullin, an analyst at Investcafe.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Nov. 26


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee will meet this afternoon in their office in the New St. Isaac’s Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha at 4 p.m.


Zoosphere, an international exhibition focusing on the pet industry, opens today at the Lenexpo convention center on Vasilievsky Island. Not only will items such as toys, terrariums and accessories be available for purchase, but animal enthusiasts can also learn about the latest in veterinary medicine and behavioral training thanks to the conferences and presentations that are part of the event.



Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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