Here’s what the Yotaphone 3 needs to succeed
The Yotaphone is one of the most unique smartphones on the market today. This dual-screened wonder has dazzled many of us here at Pocketnow, so we were downright giddy to review one just after CES. In practice, the phone is a very nice phone with some neat abilities added by that second screen. On paper though, the phone is a little light on the specs and pretty heavy on the price tag. We wanted to take a look and see what the rumored upcoming Yotaphone 3 should be and how to make it a success.
Success is vital for this phone. The same rumor that mentioned that the Yotaphone 3 and budget Yotaphone 2c were coming, also suggested that those phones arrivals might be contingent on the performance of the current Yotaphone 2. This makes sense since we are talking about a smaller company here, likely with somewhat limited resources. It’s not like they’re giving out invites to buy the phone or anything, but still they’re on the small side.
Make it shine
So the next generation of Yota hardware really needs to shine to make this work. One of the biggest problems the Yotaphone and the Yotaphone 2 had was when you compared their specifications up against other flagship hardware of the time. When the Yotaphones were originally introduced, they packed pretty solid specifications. By the time the phones were actually available for purchase (months and months later), those specifications we getting a little on the dated side. This industry moves super fast, and you need to keep up, or move along. And speaking of which…
The time between introduction and release has to be much shorter. Apple is setting the standard at “weeks” (often 1 or 2 at most) from announcement to release. That is a severely accelerated timetable, but the industry is trending to a shorter release cycle. Samsung and HTC both announced their phones at MWC and we’re already getting sales statistics from them today. Yota needs to strike while the iron is hot, and consequently, it can’t make the iron hot, until it’s ready to strike. Otherwise, the phone gets lots amidst the hubbub of dozens of other mobile phones being released while Yota finishes manufacturing.
Yota also needs to commit to a price point, and needs to ensure that the price is worth the specifications. Yota could very well make a phone that would have midrange specifications and it would still be a compelling offering. Heck, the e-ink display alone could be very valuable in some markets where power is not easy to come by. But if that is the market to which Yota is going to sell, the price of the phone needs to reflect that audience. Does an e-ink display add a premium to the cost of materials? Sure. But the value in the consumer’s eyes may not translate as well.
On the flip side, if the Yotaphone is meant to be a flagship and go toe to toe with other flagships, then Yota needs to step up its game in that department, and don’t hold back for any reason. People should look at the Yotaphone and whatever other flagship comes out at the same time, and the only thing different between the two should be that second screen. Yes, a premium can be added to the price tag, but once you get into that stratosphere of price, an extra $50-$100 won’t make that much of a difference.
So basically, Yota needs to decide if it’s going to make a flagship at a flagship price, or if it’s going to create a midrange phone with an extra screen. Both of these arguments can be made, but Yota needs to commit fully one way or the other and go all in either of specs, or on price tag. Right now, the Yotaphone 2 is an almost-great phone with areas stuck in yesteryear, but considering this phone was built a year ago, that’s not all that surprising. Even at the $550 price tag it’s asking for on it’s Indiegogo campaign, that’s not a midrange price, but it’s not really a flagship price either. It’s somewhere in the middle, and so is the Yotaphone 2.
Now that we’re on the third generation of this product, it’s time for Yota to step up its game, decide on a category, buy into it completely, and release a phone fast after an announcement. This is a phone that could really make a splash and we here at Pocketnow really want to see that happen. It’s almost there. It just needs that one last little push to sit at the adult’s table. And then Yota can start working on the real moneymaker – the Yotatablet*.
Consider that for a moment. Boom.