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Made in Russia: how to create domestic brands smartphones

All accustomed to the fact that Russia has no own production of smartphones — we just don’t do. However, the market many brands that call themselves Russian selling smartphones, not collected by us. Resource Zoom figured out how to build relationships between domestic companies and the Asian factories.

The Android mobile OS, which is very tolerant of gadgets on which it is installed. Any company can be ordered from China just assembled a smartphone, put it on his version of the platform, stick a logo with their logo and produce on the shelves of salons of cellular communication. As this model of development has affected the smartphone market in Russia, why domestic companies are trying to persuade the Chinese to improve the product and why Yota Devices has hardly found the manufacturer for the YotaPhone.

Copy, paste

Scheme Black brick (red brick) works effectively in Russia for more than three years. In 2012 domestic company Explay ordered in China noname is a copy of Samsung Galaxy S2, branded, set a price tag of less than 2 times (10 000 against 20), and come to success. Duchemosnos, bright screen (Super AMOLED Plus) and a similar design has made this device a hit. For the year revenue Explay increased by 80%, and by the end of 2013 and by another 40%. So many companies that call themselves Russian: Chinese brand gadgets with your logo and Russified interface and allowed on the shelves.

However, here too there are nuances. Often imported from Asia in the device are positioned not as a replica hit models, and as a unique solution. Three slots for sim-cards, four slots for sim cards (the first in Russia — teXet), huge battery (5000 mAh), TV tuners, projectors and other quite useful features is not popular among the A-brands, but the flash in smartphones, emerging from the pipeline of the Chinese factories. The person who looks for Asian hits, will easily find “twins” Russian models and detect cheating by price (usually 1.5–2 times), but this is not surprising: for transportation of smartphones and the firmware in Russian have to pay money.

The experience of Silicon valley

The company teXet (electronic systems “Alkotel”) was opened in St. Petersburg 11 years ago. Initially this brand produced available DECT-phones, iPods and navigation systems, but then began to leave and smartphones with tablets. Apple ushered in the era of tablet computers, offering the market the device in the highest price segment. We are in the trend are trying to take their share, producing inexpensive products”, — said General Director of “Alkotel” Alexander Korolkov. By the autumn of 2014 the share of the iPad in Russia fell by a third: this space is occupied by budget gadgets, including many domestic.

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“We are a Russian company, our headquarters is located in St. Petersburg. We don’t want to dump and import the “gray” devices for the sake of increasing market share: our business idea is no different from that applied in the Silicon valley. Product development is conducted in our company, the production in Southeast Asia. It is easier and cheaper,” continues goldcrests. Under “product development” should be understood, primarily, software, but, despite this, teXet is already recognizable in Russia, the brand, so its smartphones in any case will be more popular than Chinese counterparts.

Brand Highscreen this was harder: for the first year (2011) “Vobis Computer” sold only 20-30 thousand imported gadgets. For the sake of increasing the share of profits it was decided to make smartphones exclusive: now in Chinese factories for Highscreen produce products that differ from the standard. For example, cheap cell phones with bright and different to the touch covers (glossy — for girls, matte for men). So Android gadgets under the brand Highscreen, too, have become popular.

Now the company’s share is 2.8% of the Russian market, and higher among B-brands (the “Vobis Computer”) are just Fly and Explay. “Fly with the same share in the money, as we do, because their smartphones are cheaper, and Explay almost not involved in the revision of smartphones,” — say representatives Highscreen.

“Everyone should have a smartphone”

However, negotiations with Chinese suppliers is a time — consuming process that sometimes lasts for months. Young brand DNS (devices sold in the same stores) brought to Russia the smartphone ThL W11 Monkey King, but with important changes. For example, the keys “back”, “home” and “options” on the order of DNS stamped clearer, added support for fast charging, and instead of the usual safety glass used Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with a thickness of 0.7 mm. The last point is the most interesting: gland glass aimed at the reduction of marriage, which is still found in Asian smartphones. To reduce the number of returns, it is more efficient to negotiate and slightly increase the cost of each instance, than to issue refunds and infinite-examination for those who have on the first day cracked the original glass.

Sometimes an exit on the Russian market implies a path from supplier to independent brand. So it was with SenseIt: before the company was sold minifone” for “Megaphone”, and now produces unkillable smartphones and phones with their logo. Identical Chinese among them is not found in SenseIt careful approach to design.

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“It is necessary that any Russian consumer could afford a smartphone,” says Edward Vashchenko, head of Explay. According to him, the most important thing for the new brand to occupy a niche, no competition. In 2010, Explay first made Navigator with GPS, with GLONASS and then (also the first) opened for Russians trichimonas phones, and in March 2014 was a pioneer among those who default installed on their own smartphones Suite of applications Yandex.Keith”. However, 8 months later refused it because of complaints about Google, and in may 2015 the project “kit” and completely froze.

“No one believed”

The most resonant and most Russian smartphone on the market — YotaPhone 2. The development of the first gadget with two screens began in 2011: the company Yota Devices has chosen four important features (slim body, dual displays, fast Internet, continuous operation without recharging), created the layout and started to search the manufacturer. “With us, at first no one wanted to talk — no one in didn’t believe us because we were a small company with some unknown device”, — says General Director of Yota Devices Vladislav Martynov.

Order accepted only in Suzhou: the head of this plant, Yao Xiao Tong bet “Itapon”, as it is on BlackBerry. The first generation YotaPhone was released largely experimental, the second is a Mature and refined, but overpriced: in a crisis, people are not ready to give 35-40 thousand rubles for the gadget that has no logo And brand. By the end of may this year, Yota Devices totaly sold 144 thousands of smartphones from 150 thousand, which belonged to the first batch.

“The global market is equal for all players, so such a small company, Yota Devices, is in line with other. A-brands and have priority support from vendors of chipsets/components, and built sales channels, and intuitive marketing”, — says Evgeny Kozlov, previously developed for smartphones Fly. But Yota Devices is not giving up. The plans — the third generation of the YotaPhone and its own tablet with an additional e-ink display.

Five major Russian smartphone

YotaPhone 2

Price — 36 thousand rubles

The new YotaPhone appeared first on Barcelona MWC 2015. There he remembered the attractive case and dubbed characteristics: they were much more interesting than the first version. Gadget got two touch screen (5-inch — Full-HD, a 4.7-inch qHD e-ink), Snapdragon 800 chipset, 2 GB of RAM and 8-megapixel camera.

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Now on the device regularly receives updates of the operating system: for example, one of them has improved the camera performance. The main convenience when using the YotaPhone 2 is an auxiliary screen, when reading from which the eyes are not tired. The added benefit of autonomy: those who often use economical black-and-white display, the smartphone lives without sockets for much longer.

TeXet iX-maxi

The price is 9-10 thousand rubles

A blatant copy of iPhone 6, which can be taken for the original, if you look at the smartphone from the other end of the subway car. Outwardly, everything looks like (not only Apple on the back panel), but the characteristics of limping: the screen is qHD, CPU — Chinese MediaTek, battery for 5 hours of talk time, Android operating system.

But RAM are the same as in the iPhone — 1 GB. However, for OS from Google Gigabyte has long been lacking.

SenseIt R390+

Price — 13 thousand rubles

This smartphone can be confused with the radio, but the harsh design necessary for proper protection standard IP68. The waterproof device weighs more than 200 grams, runs on Android 4.2, shoots HD video and indifferent to any falls.

For those who go on a long trip, are the second slot for the sim card and the battery 2400 mAh capacity: this capacity can be easily stretch to two days.

Explay Tornado

Price — 4.5 thousand rubles

Bright (five colors of housing) crisis smartphone with support for three (!) sim cards, 4.5-inch IPS screen (ppi — 218), Quad-core MediaTek chip and 512 MB of RAM. 1550 mAh battery guarantee one day of work, and a microSD memory card slot (my then 4 GB) turns budget phone in the media center.

The main advantage of this device — the price of Tornado is less than $ 100, and that’s fine.

Highscreen ICE 2

Price — 13 thousand rubles

“Vobis computer” tried to make visible the smartphone, and ICE 2 is really suitable for this role — he stands out on the shelves shiny glossy and window on the rear panel. 4.7 inch screen with HD resolution falls into the category of “Radinovich (ppi above 300), 13-megapixel camera makes more or less decent pictures, and 8-core CPU MediaTek (frequency of 1.7 GHz and 2 GB of RAM eliminate slowdown.

Additional display on rear panel functionality resembles the external screen of the clamshell: there is service information (charge, calls, tracks in the player).

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