Yota Devices, the company behind the YotaPhone 2 has an unviable business model in trying to break into the lucrative North American market.
The smartphone’s creator has launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund the handset’s entry into the US market, with American backers able to pre-order the YotaPhone 2 for as little as $500. The campaign goal was a cool $50,000 and less than a day remaining they have reached over $80,000.
It is important to note that these phones are pre-orders and the entire concept of the crowd funding campaign was to gauge demand. Yota also made it very clear that the majority of this money would be used to pay the necessary licensing fees to have it certified by the FCC and other regulatory bodies. In reality, due to Indiegogo Flexible Campaign policies Yota Devices keeps all of the money they raised, regardless if they launch it in the US or not.
Yota Devices is a Russian company and they sold their first generation phone primarily in Europe. Their second generation model made it to the UK, where it was met with trepidation due to the high cost and unknown brand. Many carriers would not carry the device, which increased the cost further.
I think the entire YotaPhone concept is flawed. Relying on a notoriously shady website to generate funds just to see if there is a demand and the phone isn’t even certified in the market its trying to break into. Will Yota use the $80k they raised to certify it for the US market, or will they use the money to work on a 3rd generation model? Will they actually ship the phones to the users that ordered them without the FCC certification?
There are too many questions swirling around this companies business model for the US market. I know many serious digital readers might think this phone is amazing, due to the 4.8 inch E INK screen and 5 inch AMOLED display. Regardless, I would recommend to not invest in it until its commercially available from a legit website.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.