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Yandex NV reveals plans for replacing Google’s services on two Android-based smartphones

The largest search-engine company in Russia – Yandex NV – revealed that two smartphone manufacturers plan to sell Android-based phones with its services pre-installed. This is considered to be a great advantage for the company, which is trying to compete with Google Inc. on mobile devices.

Yandex NV is becoming more focused on maintaining its market share in Russia, due to the fact that surfing the Web on mobile devices becomes more popular in the region, and there is also strong dominance of Android smartphones.

Alexander Zverev, who is the head of mobile ecosystems of Yandex, announced in an interview that Huawei Technologies Co. and ZAO Explay will manufacture two phones, which will include the companys browser, maps, search, cloud storage and store offering 100,000 applications set as default options.

Mr. Zverev said in the interview, which was cited by Bloomberg: “When smartphone manufacturers use the Android platform, they normally have to stick to Google’s services ranging from search to application store. We are offering a full-fledged alternative here, and we are among a few companies in the world capable of doing this. We’d like to boost our market share on Android phones and benefit from growing mobile advertising.”

According to LiveInternet.ru, the company is reported to own about 62% of the search market in Russia as of January 2014, which puts in on the leading position before Google with its 27%. Yandex also revealed that it held at least 52% market share of searches on Android phones in Russia. Yandexs head of mobile ecosystems Mr. Alexander Zverev said that the company has over 90% market share on smartphones that run the Windows Phone system of Microsoft Corp. in the country.

According to IDC, which is a research firm, the sales of Android phones in Russia doubled in 2013 and reached 14.1 million units, which is about 90% of the smartphone market of the country. In comparison, according to the data compiled by IDC, the smartphone units sold by Explay were 828,000 and the ones sold by Huawei were 212,000 units, which account for about 5.9% of the total market.

Yandex NVs shares rose by 2.28% on Tuesday to settle the session at $41.21 on NASDAQ. According to CNN Money, the 13 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Yandex NV have a median target of $47.00, with a high estimate of $52.00 and a low estimate of $36.30. The median estimate represents a +14.05% increase from the last close.

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