You might remember the YotaPhone from CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas last year. In case you don’t, it’s a unique Android-powered smartphone made by Yota Devices which sports 2 screens, on the front you can find an LCD touchscreen panel and on the back an e-reader type of display(e-ink)which is on all the time. This phone is made by Yota Devices, a company based in Moscow, although they soon plan on relocating to Toronto, Canada.
According to Yota’s CEO Vlad Martynov, Yota Devices is planning on picking up BlackBerry Ltd.’s former employees in Canada. “Among those people there are brilliant engineers,” he said, “What we do is we pick up those engineers and bring them to the company.” he also added. They considered relocating to either the U.S. or Canada, but have opted for Canada due to tax benefits, lower costs, government support and of course potential availability of talented and experienced workers, not to mention Mr. Martynov himself is also originally from Canada as well as some other Yota Devices’ executives. 70% of company’s staff is located out of Russia and spread throughout 6 offices. They already hired some of ex-BlackBerry employees, 15 of them to be exact, out of 150 people currently employed by Yota Devices. They also hired some of the ex-Nokia employees to work in their research and development center in Finland.
Yotaphone is currently available in 15 markets across Russia, Middle East and Europe. They are planning to release a new version of the device, dubbed the YotaPhone 2, by the end of this year. That device will be available in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa and will come to U.S. and Canada early next year. The current YotaPhone sold in under 100,000 thus far, according to Mr. Martynov. He also added that Yota Devices plans on using the fresh capital in order to further push the company’s expansion all over the world and he considers China and North America to be the key markets and will focus on them in the future. Having a home closer to the large U.S. market could open up their possibilities of grabbing a little foothold in the region.