When Nokia began losing its market share due to the strong growth of the Android and iOS platform the company began to let go of most of its employees. Some employees and executives who were affected by the layoffs decided to form their own company called Jolla with the aim of making a smartphone running on the Sailfish OS which is based on MeeGo. This was back in 2011.
Today the company has finally launched its first Jolla smartphone into the market. Only 450 units were released during the launch on Wednesday evening with most of the units going to customers who have pre-ordered in advance. Co-founder Marc Dillon says that they are currently in the process of ramping up their production to meet the demand.
The device has a 4.5 inch display and has the noticeable influence of Nokia on its design. Unlike Nokia phones though, this model is based on the MeeGo open source platform which Nokia abandoned in 2011. It is also compatible with more than 85,000 Android apps which should be a plus factor for this device and should help it capture a much wider market share.
Dillon further said that “We are providing a world-class choice … that is an alternative for consumers [and] that can be very agile and powerful. For our operating system business we have a huge opportunity because there is currently one choice really available to every global mobile manufacturer and that’s Android.”
The device is currently being carried by Finnish telecoms company DNA with the company working on a similar deal with a UK operator.
Jolla Smartphone Technical Specifications
- Price: 399€
- Dimensions: Height 131 mm, Width 68 mm, Thickness 9.9 mm, Weight 141 g
- Processor: Qualcomm Dual Core 1.4GHz
- Network & connectivity: GSM/3G/4G LTE (Works on 6 continents), WLAN802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 4.0 EDR HS, AGPS & GLONASS, USB2.0 HS, Standard 3.5mm 4-pin audio jack, Micro SIM, Standard MicroUSB connectivity and charging, Extension interfaces for wireless NFC, power in/out and I2C data connectivity
- Memory: 16GB storage, 1GB RAM, MicroSD slot
- Display: Ample 4.5″ IPS qHD (960×540) display, 5-point multi-touch with Gorilla 2 Glass
- Sensors: Proximity, Accelerometer, Gyro, E-compass, Ambient light
- Power: Talk & stand-by time (approx.): 9 / 10hrs (GSM/3G) & 500hrs, User-replaceable battery (2100mAh, 3.8V, 7.98Wh)
With the mobile industry being dominated by Android and iOS it’s a huge risk to introduce another platform in the market. That platform has to have unique features that make it stand out above the rest or else it will just fail.
Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics says that while Jolla is no iPhone or Samsung Galaxy killer it could find its niche in the smartphone industry. “At some point people will start looking for an alternative to Android and Apple so there might be an opportunity in this very cyclical market for Jolla to grab market share. But I think it will be two or three versions down the line before we really know whether Jolla or Sailfish is worthy of challenging Apple or Android or Microsoft.”