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Russia claims to have iPhone 4 beater through better GPS

updated 04:15 pm EST, Thu December 30, 2010

Russian ZTE phone said beating Apple at GPS

Russian firm AFK Sistema said it had co-developed a phone that would purportedly beat the iPhone 4. Shown to Prime Minister Putin this week, the ZTE-made A918 Android phone uses Russia's native GLONASS GPS system and a matching 90 nanometer Qualcomm chip to get directions. The win over Apple reportedly comes from the accuracy, which at 93 percent is much higher than a claimed 64 percent for the iPhone 4.

Well-known Russian leaker Eldar Murtazin has unearthed further details and revealed that most of the specifications are well behind the iPhone. The full touch phone is budget-oriented and uses a 3.2-inch 320x240 screen, a two-megapixel camera and Android 2.1, two revisions back from the Google Nexus S' Android 2.3. The 90nm process is also well behind that used in phones from Europe, Taiwan and the US, where 65nm or 45nm chips are more common.

Cost will be the main focus at the equivalent of $359, although Murtazin added that the A916 with regular GPS cost much less at $245. AFK Sistema is providing early versions of the A918 to "friends" as soon as March but won't start volume production until past the mid-point of 2011. It's unlikely the GLONASS-aware version will leave Russia, but ZTE hasn't said how widespread the A916 will be. [via MobileCrunch]

By Electronista Staff


  1. trenchcoat77

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2003


    In Soviet Russia...

    GPS is tracking you.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Oh yes

    GPS is the sole reason for the iPhone's success. Easy: if you want to beat the iPhone, just build a phone with better GPS.

    PS: I love the bit about "AFK Sistema is providing early versions of the A918 to "friends"". Soviet Russia, you gotta love it.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Beat Me To It, Trenchcoat77 ...

    I was going say that in Russia the GPS wants to know where you are too.

  1. Haywire

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2001



    Someday Russia may actually have a GLONASS GPS system. The last 3 satellite were destroyed when the Energia rocket blew-up. The Energia president was just recently fired over that by Medvedev himself.

  1. BlueGonzo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2010


    Oh yeh

    GPS is the most important feature of the iPhone4 ? What about the iOS ecosystem? 359 USD for this c***?

  1. Bunnyturd

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    Better GPS? LOL... Whatever dude.

    Every Russian chick I know either already have or want an iPhone 4. In fact, your chance of getting to third base with any russian hottie is dramatically increased when you carry an authentic iPhone. I s*** you not.

  1. tsmelker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006



    And Russia also declared that it had a "Democracy Killer" with Communism. And we all see how that worked out...

  1. burger

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2000



    I guess if the iPhone was twice as thick, it could have a better GPS, too.

  1. sehix

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000




    The three satellites lost in the recent failed launch weren't all the glonass birds to be flown.

    Glonass development began around 1976, and was completely operational by 1985. It's got some advantages over GPS, if you happen live as far north as, say, some Siberians and Russians, having a higher orbital inclination than GPS (68º compared to 55º). And if you don't want to be dependent on GPS... (The pre-GPS Transit satellite system used polar orbiting satellites, but that meant, for one thing, that the satellites spent too much of their time over areas with no people to use it. And penguins and poley bears don't care. Or count.)

    It fell into disrepair following the collapse of the Soviet Union, but by 2003 it was being updated and placed back into service. There are about 20 (plus a couple of spares) satellites in the current constellation, with 24 being the number needed for full-area, full-time service.

    There are other satellite positioning systems, including China's Compass and the EU's upcoming Galileo, assuming they complete it.

  1. CmdrGampu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009


    @ Bunnyturd

    Nah. Two Russian sisters I know really wanted my iPad. Bigger is better. Well, okay, only one of them really liked my iPad. The other wanted a camera for video calls, which probably means she'll buy an iPad 2 as soon as it's released.

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