Russia Offers Dual Screen Smartphone to Tech Savvy Indonesians

16 February 2016 Russian smartphone developer Yota Devices and local cellphone distributor Maxindo Telemedia Nusantara launched it second generation of Russian-designed smartphones to the Indonesian market on Tuesday, 16.02.2016, hoping to tap into the country's growing tech-savvy middle class.

The Yotaphone 2, the follow-up series of Russia's first smartphone, is a quirky, dual-screen device with an LCD display on one side and an electronic paper display on the other side. While not Russian-made, it is the first Russian-designed phone on the Indonesian market.

"Indonesia is one of the important markets for us because it is called the largest market in the world and the only growing market compared to China. The Indonesia market is very important for us and we have good prospects here," Mikhail Belousov, Yota Devices business development director, said.

The Russian phone uses upgradeable Android 4.4 operating system and will be sold for about Rp 9 million ($672) each, which is slightly cheaper that its high-end smartphone competitors like Apple iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

"I think people who like innovation will like this smartphone. Professional in any kind, people who like traveling or art. This smartphone gives you great freedom of expression," Belousov told reporters.

Both the Russian start-up and its local partner believe the attempt to jump into Indonesia's smartphone market will not be defeated by other established products made by US and Asian manufacturers.

"We believe this product will thrive and will not disappear from the market quickly. Our brand has managed to keep its existence, so we believe there's a market for each product," Ted Samuel, Maxindo Telemedia Nusantara managing director, said at the launch ceremony in Jakarta.
According to Ted, the company has prepared several strategies in order to win over Indonesia's market, including special data packages with local providers and content cooperation with publishers.

"We will offer special data packages bundling with Telkomsel, Indosat and 3. We might even offer free data in a year," Ted said.
Ted pointed to the phone's size as a natural fit for e-books and suggested to company maybe team up with large local publishers.
Yotaphone offers a dual-screen design, one with 5-inch colored Amoled HD display and another with a 4.7-inch 16-level grayscale electronic paper display.
The smartphone also addresses battery life problem with its 2,500mAh conserved battery life and 32-gigabyte internal storage. That compares to iPhone 6's 1,810 mAh battery.

Yotaphone 2 units are currently being produced in China. Ted said the company is considering producing the units in Indonesia in the fourth quarter of this year to comply with the government's local content regulation.
The smartphone is currently available for preorder at Indonesia's local e-commerce site for two weeks and will then be available on other e-commerce sites.

The newer version of Yotaphone, the Yotaphone 3, is in the pipeline to be sold in Indonesia later this year, according to Maxindo. The company aims to control around 1 percent of Indonesia's smartphone market or to sell about one million units until the end of this year.