Russian company Yota is famous for its dual-screened devices, even though it has yet to bring a phone to the United States. That may soon change, however, as Yota announced that its third dual-screen smartphone, the YotaPhone 3, will be manufactured in partnership with Chinese mobile giant ZTE.
“The partnership involves the production of new generation of YotaPhone smartphones, as well as the development and integration of mobile services and software,” said Yota in a company report.
The deal with ZTE should cut the price of the YotaPhone 3 by 30 percent, which will allow the dual-screen device to compete with the OnePlus 2, Moto X Style, and other cost-effective premium smartphones running Android.
YotaPhone 3 will continue to have two screens: one side LCD and one side E-Ink. The two screens allow users to choose between the battery-saving back panel and the colorful front screen. Yota continues to update its E-Ink screen for more compatibility with third-party app developers.
This is the first piece of news from Yota since the cancelled Indiegogo campaign to bring the YotaPhone 2 to the United States. More than enough people backed the project, but Yota said it could not start manufacturing due to supply issues.
The company offered a full refund or an international version of the YotaPhone 2 to its disappointed backers. Yota did not say if the YotaPhone 3 will come to the United States at launch, but with ZTE helping behind the scenes, there are no supply issues to worry the Russian company.
ZTE plans to launch the YotaPhone 3 in the first quarter of 2016. The price is still unavailable, but using Yota’s estimations it should cost $420.
It is not the first time a Chinese company has partnered with an outside firm to build a smartphone. Foxconn manufacturers all of the iPhones and iPads for Apple, which allows the Cupertino-based company to hit high profit margins.
Lenovo acquired Motorola from Google in 2014 and now manufactures all Moto devices in China. The changes have cut the cost of Motorola’s smartphones and wearable manufacturing prices, but the company has gifted it back to consumers with lower prices on the Moto X Style and Moto X Play.
It seems that Yota is following a similar logic in its partnership with ZTE. We’ll keep you updated on news of the YotaPhone 3, as we learn more about the next generation of the dual-screened device.