Yota Devices, the company behind the YotaPhone 2 has an unviable business model in trying to enter the US market. The company initiated a crowd sourced campaign on Indiegogo last month, chiefly to explore overall demand. They raised over $250,000 and customers might be out of luck in trying to get their money back, because the Yotaphone is NOT coming to the US after all.
When the Yotaphone 2 was put on Indiegogo to basically explore demand in the US. I was very critical of a campaign whose essence was to see who wanted to buy one as utterly ridiculous for a well funded Matthew G. Kelly
Managing Director, Americas begged me to change my article, because they were trying to raise as much money as possible and did not want the negative publicity.
In an update sent to backers yesterday, Yota Devices has revealed that the logistics of getting the phones in the hands of the US backers would take far too long. Following delays from the manufacturer, the team was forced to cancel the launch as it would interfere with their plans for a 3rd generation model due out in 2016.
Yota Devices is offering backers an international variant of the phone, which unfortunately will not have LTE in the US, or a refund. Currently, the company does not have all the details worked out about how it will refund the customers, but they acknowledged they won’t refund credit cards.
I think Yota is complete garbage in terms of their phone quality, their first generation phone was a dismal failure in the marketplace. The e-ink panel did not even have a touchscreen. The second generation model did have a touchscreen but the lack of e-ink apps made it a flop in the marketplace.
Yota Devices is a fine example of why its so hard to support tech companies that are soliciting funding from Joe Average in order to have a product reach customers. Why did they even bother raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, when they knew they would have manufacturing issues? Are they betting on a large demographic of people not caring they won’t get refunded or have to end up jumping through a million hoops in order to get it?
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.