The Russian Internet company Yandex has launched a fee-free Android firmware kit in a bid to replace pre-installed Google firmware. The first Huawei and Explay devices with preinstalled Yandex.Kit should hit the stores this spring.
Yandex.Kit is based on the three-dimensional Yandex.Shell interface. Yandex offers users a bonus 50 Gb of space on its Yandex.Disk cloud storage service.
“Yandex.Kit will be useful not only to users but also to manufacturers of Antroid-based devices,” says project manager Alexander Zverev. “The former will get a convenient phone, while the latter will have the necessary flexible development services and technologies. We will share the Yandex.Kit-generated revenue with the manufacturers. We are open to cooperation with any Android manufacturers on any markets. We have ready-made solutions for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Turkey.”
Huawei, a global leader in IT and communications technology, has confirmed that it is planning to cooperate with Yandex.
“Our company is very responsive to our customers’ expectations, we keep evolving to continue to amaze our clients,” says Huawei Device marketing director for Russia Alexey Gromakov. “We are pleased to be working with Yandex, which will help us offer our users even more capabilities.”
Yandex earlier agreed with Nokia (OS Windows Phone 7) and Samsung (OS bada and Symbian) to pre-install its search engine on their smartfone products. Yandex has also announced launching an iPhone and iPad search app.
This is a unique cooperation format for the Russian market. Yandex has made a long-awaited step towards driving Google out of the CIS market. In addition, the launch of the Android firmware and the company’s cooperation with Huawei of China will help Yandex in breaking onto the international market.
Yandex launched its international expansion effort in 2011 by starting a search portal in Turkey. The company’s current plans include cooperation with the Czech search engine Seznam, which controls most of the domestic marketdespite Google’s presence. According to unconfirmed reports, Yandex is planning to launch a service in Poland shortly.