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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, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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