Jolla's first Sailfish phone goes on sale tonight

Jolla's first Sailfish phone goes on sale tonight

Summary: With Nokia's devices business soon to be a Microsoft business, Finland's most well-known smartphone maker Jolla will begin selling its first smartphones later on today, with a little help from Finnish mobile operator DNA.

TOPICS: Android, Mobility, Nokia, EU

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  • 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.

    Image: Jolla

Topics: Android, Mobility, Nokia, EU

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • last time I check MS did not buy whole Nokia?

    Last time I check MS did not buy whole Nokia? 33 000 are moving over Microsoft and 54 000 stay over at Nokia.
    Though you are right about Microsoft buying Nokia's mobile business. Nokia is left with the largest part of the company that is NSN, alongside with HERE, Nokia Research=Advanced Technologies and the investment arm, Nokia Growth Partners.
    • Unfortunately

      that's not the part of the company that anyone has ever heard of.
      • hmmm

        Yes well ignorance of facts and laws is
        a wonder foundation for an opinion.
        - I would stay away from courts if I was you...
  • Please keep us updated on this ...

    It will be interesting to see if these handsets are compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile GSM (I am guessing they are GSM or LTE ?). If they can get the basic apps covered quickly and the browser is excellent, then the phone may be of interest to techies looking for something that isn't mainstream.
  • hmm

    My z10 was chuckling at this. Nonetheless I'd like to try on someday. I love gesture based os's.