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The Brilliant Phone Idea Samsung Or Apple Didn't Dream Up

posted 26 Feb 2013, 02:40 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 26 Feb 2013, 02:43 ]

Reuters Business Video Report - When you think smartphones, you probably think Samsung and Apple. The two titans totally dominate the young industry.

But despite the high stakes and huge R&D spending, everyone's basically making the same device - a shiny black rectangle.

Enter the YotaPhone. This Russian challenger shakes that formula up: flip it over, and you get an secondary, power-sipping e-ink display.

It's the kind of thing a bright engineer in a big firm might dream up before his nervous division head shuts it down as too risky.

Contract manufacturing in China, plus the open Android operating system, have made it easier than ever to physically build a great smartphone.

But actually selling it is another matter. YotaPhone CEO Vlad Martynov has a few pointers.

CEO, YOTA DEVICES, VLAD MARTYNOV,

"I think first of all it's don't be afraid to come up with interesting, innovative idea which resolves a certain user experience problem or issue with the current gadgets or devices. Because if you look at the big brands, for the last six years there's not much innovation happened in the user experience space. They pretty much focus on the tech specs race, improving a little bit of faster, different size of display, a little more megapixel. But still there are quite a lot of things which we don't like in our gadgets. If you find an interesting idea which resolves this, and bring much better user experience for the consumers, you are destined to be successful."

 REUTERS REPORTER, JON GORDON, 

"And you have come up with a very clever idea, but what stops Samsung or LG from coming in, using their established manufacturing base to get to market before you?"

CEO, YOTA DEVICES, VLAD MARTYNOV,

"Well, first of all, we've been working on this idea for two years. We're much ahead of everybody else in terms of understanding what kind of user scenarios, user cases, and applications will appeal to the consumers on the backside, on the electronic paper display. So that's the first. The second, we understand that sooner or later, big guys will come up with the same concept and the same phone. But this is just good for us because it says that we are on the right track. We really came up with a great idea, which will make a big change in the smartphone industry."

REUTERS REPORTER, JON GORDON, 

"Even with this smartphone boom, outside of Apple and Samsung, nobody is really making any money, here. So how are you guys going to turn a profit?"

CEO, YOTA DEVICES, VLAD MARTYNOV,

"We are much, much more effective and efficient than the big guys. We don't have a huge corporate bureaucracy. We don't have a lot of competing ideas for the funding and resources. We have very narrow, laser focus on what we want to do, and what we are doing. So we are much more fast to bring innovation to the consumers."

REUTERS REPORTER, JON GORDON,

"Well as a new entrant into the smartphone market, you've got some big goals. How hard is it going to be to actually deliver this smartphone on time and on budget, though?"

CEO, YOTA DEVICES, VLAD MARTYNOV

"The relationship with mobile carriers is a key success to bring the product to the market. So we are working from both directions. After Las Vegas, the consumer electronics show, we've been contacted by many global carriers and distributors."

REUTERS REPORTER, JON GORDON, 

"So they are reaching out to you?"

CEO, YOTA DEVICES, VLAD MARTYNOV

"Exactly."

REUTERS REPORTER, JON GORDON,

"How many carriers do you think you'll get at launch?"

CEO, YOTA DEVICES, VLAD MARTYNOV

"We would be quite pleased if we will close three, five deals with the biggest mobile carriers in different regions. And that would be more than enough for the first generation of the product."

REUTERS REPORTER, JON GORDON, 

"So we'll see YotaPhones sold and distributed in the U.S. and in China?"

CEO, YOTA DEVICES, VLAD MARTYNOV

"Yes. U.S., Asia-Pacific region, and Europe."

 REUTERS REPORTER, JON GORDON,

"Vlad, what are your targets for shipments when you do finally launch?"

CEO, YOTA DEVICES, VLAD MARTYNOV

"Well, our target is to ship about one million units within the first 10 months after the launch. And that would be very successful launch for us."

 REUTERS REPORTER, JON GORDON, 

"Now in launching this you've obviously been through quite a few challenges yourself. So what advice would you give young tech startups who maybe want to get into the game?"

CEO, YOTA DEVICES, VLAD MARTYNOV

"When we started, one of the biggest challenges was to convince QUALCOMM, to convince Corning, to convince E-ink, to convince Japan Display, to provide us with the greatest and latest components for our device. It took some time to explain this concept, almost a year. So but when they get it, on the top management, we've got tremendous support from this company. And that's just keep doing."


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