Yota Devices to put Canada back on the map for smartphone manufacturing?

August 10, 2014

 

Yota Devices YotaPhone

Exciting news for RIM engineers that have recently found themselves out of work in Canada due to poor sales of BlackBerry smartphones, Yota Devices may be moving to town.

Reports are coming in that Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov is in serious talks to relocate headquarters from Moscow, Russia into either Toronto or Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Yota Devices reportedly considered several locations across North America, but are expected to move into their new Ontario based offices by the end of the year.

Of the potential relocation choices, Ontario offered several important advantages for Yota. If it is not enough that Mr. Martynov and several other executives are actually Canadians, some even from the Toronto area, the tax benefits, government support and lower costs of business certainly help this decision. The biggest thing going for this move is the abundance of highly trained and specialized engineers that are without work in the area thanks to a number of layoffs and downsizing of BlackBerry production in the last few years.

The best news here for most North Americans is that we will finally be able to purchase locally Yota devices, including portable WiFi hotspots and Yota smartphones. Yota Devices took a unique approach to building Android phones, showing off their dual display LCD and e-ink YotaPhone at CES in 2013. Version two of the YotaPhone was announced earlier this year, and is expected to release to Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East by the end of the year, and then into Canada and the US possibly by the end of the year, but it is now more likely looking to be in early 2015.

yotaphone-2nd-gen

The second gen YotaPhone pairs a 4.7-inch e-ink display on one side of the device with a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED on the flip side. Typical Android specs are included, like the 8MP camera, Snapdragon 800 with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and Android 4.4 KitKat. Of course, these specs were provided back in February, we’ll see if anything changes before it starts shipping.

Do check out our overview of the YotaPhone for more details on the device.

What do you think, can Canada support another smartphone manufacturer? Is it wise to hire engineers from the all but failed BlackBerry? Most importantly, are you interested in a device that has two displays?

Comments

  • mjolnirxz

    If priced right ($350), I would be interested for sure

    • MasterMuffin

      With those specs and 2 displays, never

      • Happy

        I’ve always thought that the idea for an e-ink screen in parallel with the LCD is brilliant. The optimal solution would be if the same screen can switch between e-ink and LCD mode but obviously this is not currently possible. The e-ink screen is the ultimate solution for sunlight legibility.

        • Magnetic1

          There are air mouses with remote and depending on which side is facing up, that side is the function turn on for use. I think it is doable.

        • http://dribbble.com/nickchamberlin Nick Chamberlin

          You really thought that was a good idea?sounded like a horrible idea to me, but to each their own.

      • mjolnirxz

        By the time this arrives in NA, S800 would be maybe 2 years behind? Coupled with the then compatible emmc 4.5 nand, 1080p displays being very mature, and e-ink being cheap relatively speaking, I think it is absolutely possible.

  • KID ANDROID

    It’s a very wise choice for them to come here to Ontario as BlackBerry let go of many very talented people that reside in the area. Only thing is they have to lose the dual display angle as not many care to have an eink display at all, so get thinking about something different for this North American market or they will have the same limited fate that BlackBerry has been dealing with unfortunately.

    • Luka Mlinar

      You’re kidding right? Whole point of this company is the dual display with e-ink. As long as there is a market for e-readers and there is, there will be a market for this phone.

  • notzippy

    The only way you can get a reasonable amount of space for an eink display IMHO is to have the phone open like a book.

    • s2weden2000

      Really…

  • Zenz_D

    Sunlight legibility, extremely low power use, reasonable specs. Count me in.

  • Aditya Gupta

    Next step after Curved displays…… Dual displays!! Awesome!

  • Karly Johnston

    Russians to employ former RIM employees, how pathetic for Blackberry.

  • David

    I am constantly frustrated by the inability to see the screen in bright sunlight.
    When in-doors, the colour display is great, but outside, if I can see the screen clearly, then I wouldn’t care that it was monochrome.
    This is one of the reasons that I use a Pebble smartwatch rather than the others, a watch without a readable screen is as useful as a bicycle to a fish.