Jolla to sell MeeGo-based phones in China

Jolla to sell MeeGo-based phones in China

Summary: The ex-Nokians have inked their first sales and distribution contract for smartphones running the Linux-derived mobile operating system

TOPICS: Mobile OS, Nokia

Jolla, the company continuing work on the Linux-based MeeGo smartphone platform that was abandoned by Nokia, has signed its first contract.

The sales and distribution deal is with a Chinese retail chain called the D.Phone Group, according to a statement published by a Finnish blog called Androidistica. Jolla is based in Finland, being comprised of former Nokia employees.

"China has the largest and most rapidly expanding smartphone market in the world," Jolla chairman Antti Saarnio said in the statement. "This agreement with D.Phone is a major step in Jolla's journey towards becoming a significant player in the global smartphone market."

Meanwhile, D.Phone chief Donghai Liu said the aim was to "reach significant sales volume" with Jolla's "fresh and unique user experience". D.Phone has more than 2,000 stores, apparently making it China's "largest chain retailer of mobile phones and accessories".

MeeGo, which succeeded Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo platforms, only made it onto one retail phone, the Nokia N9. However, by the time of that release, future development of MeeGo had already been sidelined as a result of Nokia's Windows Phone tie-in with Microsoft.

The N9 was very well-received by critics, but Nokia downplayed both its marketing and the fact that it ran MeeGo. The hardware design went on to be more-or-less recycled for Nokia's first Windows Phone, the Lumia 800.

Nokia provided an update to MeeGo earlier this month, but the team that had been working on the OS left at the same time.

Topics: Mobile OS, Nokia

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Can I buy in US

    Does anyone knows? What are the specs?
  • What am I bid?

    What's the over/under on when Jolla passes Nokia to become Finland's largest handset maker?

    "A billion people can drink a lot of beer."
    -- Augustus Busch IV
    Robert Hahn
    • That's like becoming the best team in the National League West.

      Jolla, if they stay small, can probably make some money, but it's hard to imagine that an ecosystem-less smartphone is going to do anything anyplace but in the most cost-conscious markets. Which means their margins are going to be minuscule, and Android is the go-to OS for minuscule margin smartphones. So the question is, what's the upside to a MeeGo smartphone?
      • Known unknown

        There seems to be some sort of love for MeeGo in China. I have no idea why. The biggest carrier, China Mobile, was working with Nokia on a series of MeeGo phones until Nokia dumped MeeGo. And now there"s this deal. Maybe MeeGo has excellent Chinese language support, or there are apps for it that we don't know about. Whatever it is, China is so big a market that MeeGo could flop everywhere else and still be a big force if it takes off in China.
        Robert Hahn
        • MeeGo in China

          MeeGo is the only major mobile operating system that is not in American hands, plus it's open sourced. This is a matter of national security for China, and should attract private individuals elsewhere too.
  • Yawn. Wake me up when they move to Tizen. Meego is dead.

    Get over it like everyone else already has.
    Johnny Vegas
    • They are going to use Tizen...

      They are going to use Tizen. However the fact that these are the same Nokia people that engineered the N9 with MeeGo doesn't hurt!

      They know how to build the hardware and integrate with their own OS. MeeGo was after all a merger of Nokia and Intel's efforts.

      Jolla's COO, Marc Dillon, spent six years at Nokia as principal engineer for Meego.
  • Our interview with Jolla's CEO

    We got the chance to interview Jolla's CEO Jussi Hurmola on Tuesday. He talks about how they plan to differentiate from the bigger players in the smart phone market. Have a look at it if you're interested.