Rus­sian tech gi­ant Yan­dex launches its first smart­phone

Oman Daily Observer - - SCITECH -

RUS­SIAN In­ter­net gi­ant Yan­dex launched its first ever smart­phone in a highly an­tic­i­pated move into hard­ware that builds on pop­u­lar ser­vice apps.

The new de­vice, called Yan­dex.phone, went on sale last week in Rus­sia and on­line for 17,990 rou­bles ($269/237 eu­ros) — less than sim­i­lar phones from com­peti­tors Ap­ple and Sam­sung — and will work with the An­droid sys­tem.

While the de­sign was cre­ated by Yan­dex, the phone is made in China.

Yan­dex’s var­i­ous apps for pay­ment, mu­sic, maps, taxi and food are pre­in­stalled on the phone, which will also use a speaker called Alice (Alisa in Rus­sian), which uses ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and is sim­i­lar to Ama­zon’s Alexa.

“We built Yan­dex.phone to of­fer Rus­sian users a smart­phone that is equipped with all the lo­calised tools that help users bet­ter nav­i­gate their daily rou­tines,” Yan­dex of­fi­cial Fy­o­dor Yezhov said.

“Within the smart­phone, the Yan­dex apps are pre­sented in the form of an ecosys­tem with Alice at its cen­tre.”

The phone sig­nals a new phase in Yan­dex’s devel­op­ment and is de­signed to compete in Rus­sia with gi­ants like Ap­ple, Sam­sung and Huawei.

This comes af­ter Google launched its own smart­phone with mixed suc­cess and Face­book failed in its at­tempts to do so.

Yan­dex started in the 1990s as a search en­gine sim­i­lar to Google and has ex­panded into ev­ery cor­ner of the Rus­sian In­ter­net.

The launch comes af­ter the com­pany last month dis­ap­pointed tech en­thu­si­asts by sum­mon­ing jour­nal­ists to what turned out to be a pre­sen­ta­tion not of the smart­phone but of its speaker.

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