BY | November 28, 2013

 

It is completely new and runs on a different operating system. Jolla smartphone comes with new look and great specs: When is India launch?

Jolla phones are here, a new member in the highly competitive smartphone market dominated by Android, Apple and Windows.

A group of ex-Nokia employees have salvaged the MeeGo software (that Nokia discarded to favour the Windows smartphone OS) and changed it into the more open operating software, the Sailfish. Jolla smartphones would run this OS, which is compatible with most of Android hardware and applications.

Pronounced Yol-la – is powered by open-source operating system Sailfish, but can run most apps designed for Google’s Android platform. Antti Saarnio, chairman and co-founder of Jolla, said about the overlooked potential of MeeGo, “Everybody felt so strongly that they wanted to continue. We are ramping up our Jolla community right now. There’s already a Sailfish website so that developers can come and contribute.”

Sailfish is mostly an open-source code OS, ie, anyone can expand and adapt the platform. Jolla, (pronounced Yol-La) has paired with a major Finnish network and is looking forward to making similar deal with a UK operator. Jolla phones were launched in Finland this Wednesday and it will be followed by launch in other 135 countries.

Prebookings for the Jolla phones began in May 2013 and all of the first batch of 450 phones launched are pre-booked by consumers from Finland and other European and Asian countries. Talking about the using MeeGo as a base, Jolla co-founder Mr Dillion said, “We’re not trying to piggy-back, but we have seen a bump. We’ve had a lot of support in Finland.”

As far as specifications and features are concerned, Jolla handset sports a 4.5-inch Estrade display with resolution of 540×960 pixels. It is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and has 1GB of RAM. There is an 8MP rear camera with autofocus  and LED flash besides a 2MP front facing camera. There is 16GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable to an unspecified maximum capacity via microSD card. It supports 4G Internet connections and is compatible with over 85,000 Android apps. It features changeable smart covers and also comes preinstalled with Nokia’s HERE maps that cover over 180 countries.

The guys in the company are super excited. Co-founder Marc Dillon said, “There’s different opportunities for people to get apps form different places, different stores. We’ve created a world-class platform. Users will be getting more choice. This is the ‘what might have been’ scenario had Nokia not gone down the Microsoft road with Windows Phone.” Analyst Geoff Blaber, from CCS, considers Jolla a good candidate in the smartphone race. He said, “This is the challenge. At the moment we have a situation where Android is utterly dominant. They’ve got to prove the software is competitive and it works. It’s easy to characterise this as David v Goliath. But the fact is if Jolla can maintain a competitive cost base, there is already an enthusiast base seeking this product. It could be successful. This is the ‘what might have been’ scenario had Nokia not gone down the Microsoft road with Windows Phone ” So, Jolla is what happens when Nokia lays off thousands of employees. Jolla now comprises of over 90 employees in Finland and Hong Kong – a majority of them being ex-Nokia employees.

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