The highly ingenious dual-screened YotaPhone, and especially the YotaPhone 2 made quite a splash at various technology expos and trade fairs, but outside of that closed circuit, it was unfortunately very difficult for actual mobile enthusiasts to get their hands on the unique Androids.
Crowdfunded for a long overdue US bow earlier this year, the YotaPhone 2 never broke the Asian and European barriers, despite first showing up on stage at MWC in February 2014. It’s obviously too late now for the second-gen to pursue its American dream, even if its Russian makers were to find local distribution partners, but we have reason to believe the 2016 threequel will enjoy a happier fate.
That’s because Yota Devices has just delivered on an older promise, signing a cooperation agreement with one of the world’s largest smartphone brands. ZTE is to apparently lend a hand with “the production of new generation of YotaPhone smartphones, as well as the development and integration of mobile services and software.”
Hopefully, the Chinese giant will get involved in global distribution as well, and vouch for Yota’s dependability in prospective Western carrier negotiations. After all, ZTE may not be big stateside either, but it’s certainly rising, and it’s a name to be reckoned with on the old continent.
Aside from facilitating much swifter, wider manufacturing of the YotaPhone 3, set to go on sale in Q1 2016 in an initial batch of around 100,000 units, the move to China for the handheld’s assembly should also help lower expenses and, ergo, retail costs too. It remains to be seen if the newly formed Yota – ZTE alliance shall go the Sailfish software route in the end, or continue walking the familiar Android path to glory.