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Russia's first smartphone goes on sale

December 05, 2013, 11:17 UTC+3
YotaPhone has an always-on second screen on the back using the electronic ink technology
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MOSCOW, December 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Newspapers reported that the first domestically designed smartphone with Android operating system and featuring a second screen had gone on sale. The world's first dual screen device, called YotaPhone, first appeared in YotaRetail outlets, and soon will begin to sell in other mobile phone outlets, the Vedomosti newspaper writes. YotaPhone will go on sale in Germany, France, Spain and Austria, and by the New Year, it will be available in other countries of Europe and the Middle East. It costs 19,999 rubles in Russia and €499 elsewhere.

YotaPhone has an always-on second screen on the back using the electronic ink technology. It limits battery drain and shows time, messages etc. A full battery provides 50 hours of e-book reading, which might be extended to 70 hours if the phone is switched off.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev became the first owner of the smartphone when Director General of the Rostekh corporation Sergei Chemezov (co-owner of Yota Devices), gave him the device as a present on Wednesday.

A source close to Yota Devices said investment in the project made up several million dollars. Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov, cited by the Vedomosti, said the company had already received some 10,000 orders for the new smartphone.

Mikhail Nikolayev, founder of Orbita Telecom (Just5 phones producer), estimates YotaPhone production cost at $200. He said he was not sure about mass demand for the smartphone, saying that in 2014, other modes will appear on the market. They will cost as much, but their performance characteristics will be far better, such as eight-core processors (versus YotaPhone's two-core processor) and broader screens.

The newspaper writes that the second screen is manufactured by Taiwan's Eink, the main screen is produced by Japan Display, and that Qualcomm produces processors. The phone is assembled in China by Singapore's Hi-P. However, the phone's complete development and design was made in Russia.

The RBC Daily newspaper noted that "it's a 100% Russian invention," although it is still assembled from foreign parts abroad.

Itar-Tass is not responsible for the material quoted in these press reviews

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