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Yota Devices aims high after buyout, with $50 million promised for product development
Those subscribing to the less-is-more philosophy might not have much use for the YotaPhone 2, an intriguing Russian device with an typical LED screen on one side and an e-ink screen not unlike Amazon Kindle’s on the other. Those of the more-is-more persuasion might be glad to learn that, after being bought out by the Chinese company REX Global, Yota is looking to pursue more mainstream markets.
Yes, the YotaPhone and YotaPhone 2 were plagued with production difficulties that seriously limited the products’ market reach. Furthermore, long delays between product announcement and their actual release (almost a year each) left Yota’s devices feeling dated and behind the curve. YotaPhone 2 almost saw a launch in the United States thanks to an Indiegogo campaign, but the company backed out even though the campaign was successful.
It’s been a hard few years for Yota, but the company hopes that their new relationship with REX Global Entertainment Holdings will bring new funding and market opportunities to their unique smart phones. As of this week, the Hong Kong-based company now owns 65 percent of Yota Devices, a stake they purchased for the cool price of $100 million. REX is promising to inject $50 million into the development of the YotaPhone 3, and they believe their familiarity with the diverse Chinese smartphone market will create new opportunities for a device with such novelties as a screen on the back side.
More generally, Yota claims they will be looking to achieve more mass market appeal with the help of REX Global’s continued funding, which may mean Yota devices will start making more noticeable appearances the world over.
Yota will be working with ZTE to create their next generation of YotaPhone, and they’re expecting to launch it sometime in early 2016. Let’s hope the delay between the device’s announcement and launch is much shorter than it was for YotaPhone and Yotaphone 2.
If it makes it over to your regional market, will YotaPhone 3 be on your wish list next year?