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The first Jolla device
Now, the OS is set for a full launch, and will appear as a beta on the first Jolla devices, according to recently-published specs.
The 4.5-inch screen of the Jolla device has a 960x540 qHD display resolution, which it puts it on par with the Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini. It also comes with 16GB onboard storage, a microSD slot, eight-megapixel main camera and two-megapixel front-facing camera.
Connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.0, GSM, 3G and 4G LTE, which Jolla claims "works on six continents" though it hasn't said which spectrum bands it supports. It also comes with a replaceable 2100 mAh capacity, 3.8V battery and will be powered by a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm chip.
The birth of Sailfish
Jolla unveiled its UI for Sailfish at last year's Slush conference in Helsinki. Back then, it was targeting the first half of 2013 for the release of the device.
Jolla also used Slush to take the wraps off the SDK to Sailfish that it will be offering to device makers. The SDK consisted of Mer Core's tools, Qt Creator, Jolla UI components, Sailfish UI framework and Sailfish handset application interfaces.
Marc Dillon, then heading up Jolla, outlined to ZDNet what the company hoped it could offer carriers that Android and Apple had not: "In the past, early device manufacturers made the devices and the operators sold them. Then the operators started pushing their own services. With the main ecosystem companies — the duopoly as some call it — there's very little opportunity for an operator to create a deeply integrated service in those operating systems.
"With Apple, it's almost impossible; with the next Android, the release goes out and then they have to reintegrate it and change it and make sure it works in that form, every new version that comes out."
Potential carrier partners that Dillon said Jolla would be suited to included Orange, Vodafone or Hutchison, but so far the Jolla hasn't reported any headway outside of Finland, although discussions are known to be ongoing.
Image: Liam Tung/ZDNet
The app question
As Jolla has previously announced, it's got its own app store in the works and a separate shop window called Sailfish Harbour for apps developed with the Sailfish OS SDK. However, thanks to an Android runtime from Swiss company Myriad, it's designed to be Android compatible.
Jolla has maintained that it was looking to non-Google Android app stores to distribute apps to Sailfish users when Sailfish devices become available.
While Jolla owners won't be able to install apps from Google Play, Jolla this month announced it would partner with Russian search provider Yandex to enable Jolla devices owners to install Android apps from its Android app store Yandex.Store. Yandex claims to have 85,000 apps.
For the moment, only free apps will be available, with Jolla expected to launch payment functionality later.
Jolla's ties to Nokia run deep — indeed, it can in part thank its existence to Nokia's Bridge program, which has helped spawn hundreds of small businesses by offering seed funding to departing Nokians wanting to start their own business.
The company now become a customer of one of the Nokia's three remaining businesses, licensing map data and location information, such as restaurants and hotels, from Nokia's Here unit.