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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

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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