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Russian firm launches dual-screen smartphone

Dubai: Russian start-up company, Yota Devices, launched a dual-screen premium Android smartphone in Russia, Austria, France, Spain and Germany on Wednesday.

The YotaPhone will be available in 20 countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Europe and the Middle East by the end of first quarter next year and it is priced at €499 (Dh2,480), with Jumbo Electronics as its main distributor in the Middle East.

“The phone is designed to solve smartphone users’ frustrations with their current smartphones’ sleep-mode screens,” Yota Devices CEO, Vlad Martynov, told Gulf News in an interview, adding that a typical user picks up and activates his or her smartphone over 150 times a day.

He said the sleep-mode screen is a huge distraction and can impede meaningful interaction with people.

“We believe we have solved the way smartphone users communicate with their devices. By including a second screen that uses electronic paper display technology, users have access to the information they want and need on a continuous basis without having to wake up their phones. The technology also preserves smartphone battery power. The rear screen will always remain on and can be operated even when the battery is nil,” he said.

YotaPhone combines a smartphone and e-reader into one device for those who enjoy reading on-the-go. Information, like a missed call or meeting reminder, stays on the always-on screen until it is no longer needed.

Martynov said the company will be launching more smartphones next year and for the time being Yota will stick to Android devices.

Yota sees Russia, Europe and the Middle East as its main markets.

He said the Middle East market is open for innovative products and new type of devices.

According to Gartner, worldwide mobile phone sales to end users increased 5.7 per cent year on year to 455.6 million units in the third quarter. Sales of smartphones accounted for 55 per cent of overall mobile phone sales and reached their highest share to date in the period.

The overall handset market grew three per cent quarter on quarter to 47.83 million in the Middle East and Africa, and smartphones grew 20 per cent quarter on quarter to 15.08 million.