We’ve been following Russia’s YotaPhone since 2012, but it seems like the saga of the power-hungry E Ink-backed dual-screen phone has come to an end. Yota Devices is bankrupt, it reports. Cnews.ru Y Liliputating, pointing to a liquidation announcement posted in the Cayman Islands Gazette (PDF).
Bad sales caught up with the company.
According to reports in the Russian media, it was a lawsuit that ultimately bankrupted the company. Yota’s maker for the first two YotaPhones, Hi-P Singapore, filed a $ 126 million lawsuit in 2015 because YotaPhone reportedly refused to receive (and likely pay for) the minimum number of phones it agreed to order. (In 2016, Financial times reported that the first two YotaPhones only sold about 75,000 units.) Hi-P agreed to take $ 17 million instead, but apparently that deal fell through.
Truth be told, the YotaPhone hasn’t exactly been that relevant to the west, or even Russia, in recent years. The company did not ship the YotaPhone 2 to the United States in 2015 despite having exceeded its Indiegogo crowdfunding target, and by the end of 2016 it decided to withdraw from the UK and Russia as well, shifting its operations to China instead.
With Chinese factories and Chinese investment, Yota apparently only ended up selling the latest YotaPhone 3 in China, despite promises that it would also appear in “Russia and other markets.” However, the YotaPhone 3 won an iF Design Award in 2018.
Now, we will probably never see another YotaPhone. But if you’re interested in a multi-screen phone, a new wave of foldable devices could fill that hole in your heart.