US By: Raf Stitt

The dual-screen YotaPhone, which was released in the U.K. this past Wednesday, sounds like it might have the potential to make some serious noise in the world of smartphones. Here in the States, the iPhone is leading the charge. But is the YotaPhone the answer to the iPhone’s U.S. dominance?

I feel like I can’t get away from iPhones. As of late 2013, they account for over 40% of the smartphones in America. It seems like everyone and their mom has an iPhone, and almost all of them seem to be a 5, 5c, or 5s. I think I’m the only one of my friends who can’t take a panoramic shot (thanks to my ancient iPhone 4). Even with my old- school 4, I feel a sense of entitlement, because I’m part of team Apple. For some reason, the iPhone in my pocket makes me cringe at the sight of a Samsung, HTC, or another Android phone, and look down upon those who bravely use them.

Would I do the same to someone using a YotaPhone? Honestly, I probably would. Essentially, the only feature that sets this apart from the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and all the other smartphones on the market is its e-paper display on the back. The back screen serves a few purposes. Firstly, it can be used as a way to check for messages and other notifications without using as much battery life as activating the LCD screen to check would use. It could also be used to change the phone’s wallpaper and send messages. Yota has made an SDK (Software Development Kit) available for developers in hopes that this will make the switch to the YotaPhone’s dual-screen setup more appealing.

Aside from the innovative second screen, this phone is really nothing to write home about. The processing speed, storage memory, and operating system are fairly average. The YotaPhone has not convinced me that it has what it takes to overthrow Apple atop the ranks as the most popular smartphone in the States.

All this being said, the phone won’t debut in America until late this year or early next year. So Yota has some time to work on their new phone and get it to a point where they can convince snooty iPhone-using Americans—like myself—that this is the smartphone to have. Yotaphone developers know that the first version of the phone won’t do so hot, but they hope the second-generation Yotaphone, which is set for release later this year, will be more attractive to the mainstream marketplace. Maybe this one will show more promise for making a significant splash in the U.S. market. If not, we better get used to iPhones, because it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere anytime soon.