It is very possible that you have never heard of a company named Yota and it is no surprise, because Yota is a Russian mobile broadband services provider that also manufactures smartphones. Finding out who owns the company is tricky, but not impossible, since there is only this much oligarchs and billionaires in Russia. It is a person named Alisher Usmanov and he is an Uzbek born son of a state prosecutor who wanted to be a diplomat and ended up with a degree in international law from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Family and personal relations to Roman Abramovich of the Chelsea FC fame – Usmanov also has a 30% stake, but remains largely unnoticed – and to Putin, mainly through their female companions, Usmanov managed to become the richest man in Russia.
Yotaphone 2 is, interestingly enough, available in the UK and costs around 350 quid without contract. If this seems a bit much, please be advised that it is not an average smartphone, it is a two-faced smartphone. Yes, the Yotaphone 2 has two large displays, where the main screen is an AMOLED 5.0 inches large capacitive touchscreen display screen with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels at an approximate pixel density of 442 ppi. The secondary grayscale e-ink like touchscreen is 4.7 inches with a 540 x 960 pixels resolution at 235 ppi and it is always on.
The operating system is Android 4.4.3 KitKat out of the box, but there is an upgrade to version 5.0 Lollipop available. Chipset is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801, with a quad core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 CPU and the Adreno 330 GPU. Internal memory is only available in a 32 GB and no microSD card version, paired with 2 GB RAM, which puts this smartphone actually in the mid-range. The primary camera is only a 8 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash, the secondary camera only 2.1 MP, which is a bit low, considering the standards set by the competition.
All things considered, the Yotaphone 2 is a bit expensive for what it can do, the gimmick with the second screen aside. People around here can have a better smartphone and a Kindle for less money, so it is questionable if this smartphone is actually something anybody would purchase in the UK. Perhaps these considerations convinced Yota to scrap plans to try and conquer the USA, unless Usmanov is looking to try doing it with the upcoming Yotaphone 3, which will be manufactured by ZTE. Knowing how paranoid the Americans are and how they shunned Huawei because of possible ties to the Chinese government and implied spying, a scandal that is still going on and just went overboard because of documents leaked by Edward Snowden, which were allegedly proving that the NSA had a covert program against Huawei; it seems very doubtful that Yota will get any chance of gaining traction anywhere else, considering the aforementioned ownership and relations implications.
The Serbian Prime Minister will very likely have no concerns at all, most likely because the stunt of receiving a Yotaphone 2 as a present from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, was only a PR move to provide Yota with some much needed press coverage – the Yotaphone 2 is apparently available for purchase in Serbia and as it seems nobody gave it a second glance. Now after the PM Vucic is prominently having and displaying one as his own, the sales of Yotaphones 2 in Serbia should skyrocket, or so they hope. Perhaps Vucic is hoping for some kickbacks, at least this is what the public in Serbia is saying.