New Russian smartphone launches as iPhone-phobia mounts

Dec 12, 2013
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Amid spying concerns after the revelation of U.S. security agencies’ wiretaps of foreign leaders, Russia is considering making its officials give up their iPhones in favor of a new smartphone made by the Russian firm Yota, RIA Novosti reports.

A legislative commission is slated to discuss whether foreign-made smartphones are more vulnerable than Russian-made ones.

“There will always be distrust toward smartphone manufacturers. Whoever makes the technology can also eavesdrop on it,” State Duma Deputy Vadim Dengin told the dailyIzvestia.

Yotaphone. Photo by gilipollastv/, cropped to fit

Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, who as president received the first iPhone 4 in Russia as a gift from Steve Jobs in 2010 and eulogized the Apple founder by saying he changed the world, is an early adopter of the dual-screen YotaPhone, which was released on 4 December.

Russia would not be the first country to keep its politicians from owning iPhones – even in Apple’s homeland, U.S. President Barack Obama said last week he was not allowed to have one because of security concerns.

The YotaPhone has won accolades abroad, Russia Beyond the Headlines reports. The Android-based device, with an LCD display on the front and a power saving ebook-reader-like screen on the back, took home awards at trade shows inLas Vegas andCannes.



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