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Russia’s first smartphone goes on sale

Yota Devices executive Vladislav Martynov presented the Yotaphone in Moscow Wednesday.
Yota Devices executive Vladislav Martynov presented the Yotaphone in Moscow Wednesday.Credit: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

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MOSCOW — Russia’s first smartphone — a quirky, dual-screen device with a traditional LCD-color display on one side and an electronic-paper display similar to the Amazon Kindle on the other — began selling in Russia and several other European countries Wednesday.

The Yotaphone, developed by a Russian tech startup, Yota Devices, will be sold for about $675 in Europe and for $600 in Russia, slightly cheaper than top competitors like the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The Russian phone, which uses an Android operating system, is an attempt by a European company to jump into the handset market, largely dominated by US and Asian manufacturers. Nokia, the largest cellphone maker in Europe, is in the final stages of selling that business to Microsoft for $7.2 billion. Jolla, a smaller Finnish startup founded by former Nokia engineers, has only recently started selling its own handset aimed at a global audience.

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