Meet Yota, the first Russian smartphone

17 Dec, 2012

The newest competitor in smartphone wars is Moscow based Yota. Yota will show off its first phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (25 to 28th February 2013), and it will be available in Russia starting in the third quarter of 2013.

The Yota wants to bring a few innovations to the smartphone – a field that “hasn’t seen major innovation in the last five years,” according to Yota CEO Vladislav Martynov. One neat feature of the Yota is a dual screen – one LCD on one side and an e-paper display on the other side for prolonged reading without draining the battery.

russian smartphone
russian smartphone

The e-paper display can keep a picture active on the screen, even when the phone is powered down, because the e-ink technology only requires battery power to change a picture, not to display it. That should provide some interesting uses for the Yota phone, Martynov thinks, like keeping your e-ticket handy while you’re navigating long airport hallways.

Yota will use Google’s Android operating system, and will be priced around $ 500, just below the iPhone price point but on the same level as other top level Android phones. The Asian market had a few phones with dual (LCD) display, but they never caught on big time.

Yota Devices was a spin out of its parent company Yota in late 2011, and had a $ 25 million budget to develop the phone. It will likely need a huge marketing budget to educate the audience about it’s “totally different” product design, says senior analyst at IDC Ramon Llamas in the Wall Street Journal.

See a video of the Yota phone here:

Read more at WSJ

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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