Jolla, a Finland based company started by former Nokia employees, recently announced that its mobile operating system called Sailfish OS is now at version 1.0 and is ready for global distribution. What makes this OS attractive is that it is able to run Android applications. It will also soon become available for download to run on select Android devices.
The first Jolla phone was available in a limited release late last year. It first ran on Sailfish OS beta and since then three major updates have been made. The fourth update is set for release this coming March after which commercial global distribution will begin.
According to Marc Dillon, Co-Founder and COO of Jolla “We’re very excited to announce this. We’ve been working hard together with our user community to make the user experience of the Jolla smartphone and Sailfish OS effortless and distinct. We believe that Jolla now offers a truly viable option for all smartphone users. Naturally we are not stopping here, as we continue to provide monthly software updates to Jolla devices and Sailfish OS.”
To expand its user base, the company is making Sailfish OS compatible with common Android devices. Right now the Sailfish community has made it possible to make Jolla OS run on devices such as the Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, and Sony Xperia. Work is also being done right now to bring the OS to Xiaomi models.
For those who would like to try out this new OS a Sailfish launcher has been developed which will soon become available for download from Jolla.com and the popular Android markets. This launcher simulates the Sailfish OS experience on an Android device.
Antti Saarnio, Chairman of the Board of Jolla, said that “We see this as a huge volume opportunity for Sailfish OS as there are close to a billion Android users globally. Many of them are looking for new user experiences to freshen up their existing devices. Last year in China alone, about 100 million devices were re-flashed after the purchase with a new operating system. This approach allows Sailfish OS to scale into volume fast without limitations. This is a scaling opportunity in a similar way as we have seen in the mobile gaming industry recently.”
The launcher is expected to be released in the first half of this year and will give users a feel of how the system works. This will then be followed shortly with the release of the full Sailfish OS for Android devices.