A bunch of sites reported last week that someone, somewhere, somehow, was developing a third dual-screen Yotaphone. I read about it on TechRadar, but quite a few other sites also reported this revelation, and frankly, I think they’re reading too much into a report which has yet to be verified and was awfully improbable in the first place.
It’s been a _long_ while since the Yotaphone was last in the news, so here is a refrehser. The Yotaphone was a moderately powerful smartphone with a single claim to fame: it was the first dual-screen smartphone to feature both an OLED screen and an E-ink screen. Two models were released in 2013 and 2014, after which the line was cleared out and the company sold to an investment firm.
All of the sites are basing their story on an Instagram comment left by what used to be the official Yoraphone account. The comment is in Russian, and loosely translates to:
Thank you for your interest in our product. At the moment, we are developing the third generation of the smartphone. Follow us on our official group. Sincerely, The YotaPhone
I can’t find a statement from any official source, nor has anyone been able to confirm whether that account is still controlled by an official employee (as opposed to an ex-employee jokester who still had the Instagram app on their smartphone).
So yeah, the original source is a little thin, and that makes me doubt its validity.
But the larger reason why I disbelieve this story is that there’s no obvious financial incentive for a new Yotaphone.
The previous model Yotaphone (shown above) was released just over two years ago. It proved so successful that about ten months later parent company Yota Devices sold itself to a Hong Kong investment company for $100 million and moved its operations to China (where it is now focusing on its core business of internet devices like modems).
The remaining Yotaphones were marked down from the original 699 euro retail price to a clearance price of $140, and then sold off to Chinese internet retailers like Gearbest.
That device is currently out of stock.
Here’s a question for you: Can someone explain why the investment firm that owns Yota Devices would make a capital investment in developing a new dual-screen smartphone when the previous model was such a resounding failure?
That, folks, is where this story fails the sniff test.
While I would like to be pleasantly surprised at the launch of a new Yotaphone, I would bet you the price of the new model that there won’t be one. This story might be true, but what we know so far just doesn’t add up to a credible story.
image by pestoverde