Yota Devices, the company behind the dual screen YotaPhone, used the 2013 Mobile World Congress (MWC) stage the other day to announce that it has become the first Russian company to sign a technology licensing agreement with Qualcomm.
Qualcomm chairman and CEO, Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, joined Yota Devices CEO, Vlad Martynov, to make the announcement. Jacobs’ presence suggests it isn't a trivial deal of any sort, and indeed, if Martynov is able to make a go of it with the YotaPhone, it should prove a very interesting deal for Qualcomm.
The YotaPhone, which sports a standard LCD color screen on one side, also includes a highly energy-efficient, low-power consumption E-Ink display on the reverse side, allowing users to keep the screen active for extended periods of time.
It is designed around Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 processor, and the current suite of modems and routers Yota uses are powered by Qualcomm's Gobi 4G LTE technology in the MDM9215 and MDM9225 chipsets.
Per the new agreement, the two companies will now cooperate on developing cutting-edge LTE and connectivity devices, including smartphones, modems and routers. Russia is still a huge greenfield opportunity and growth area for both smartphones and tablets, and it makes a lot of sense for Qualcomm to build a tighter relationship with Yota.
We like the move for both companies, but it should also help Yota establish deeper credibility as a mobile device player.
Enrico Salvatori, senior VP at Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm Europe, underscores this; "Russia is strategically important to us as we expect strong growth in the number of 3G smartphones over the next two years. We are very excited to support Yota Devices. Innovative ideas are coming from all parts of the world and YotaPhone is a great example of a company that looks to lead with innovative ideas. The software license agreement will allow Yota to design 3G/4G multimode devices based on QTI’s products and technology."
The deal - as well as the opportunity to announce it at MWC - is a nice feather in both Yota's and Vlad Martynov's hat. Martynov notes that, “Being named as a Qualcomm software licensee gives us the opportunity to develop technical devices at all different stages with our own Yota Devices engineering teams. It will help us to design and optimize our devices – modems, routers and smartphones - with operators and consumers desires and needs in mind. This license guarantees that we will receive Qualcomm support at the same level as global developers and manufacturers.”
TechZone360 Senior Editor
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