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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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