Jollas indie mobile OS leaves port
Finns get their hands on first 450 devices running Sailfish OS, an Android app-running port of MeeGo.
This time last year, mobile operating system Sailfish
OS was nothing but a glossy
promo video. The difference 12 months can make – today, the
first 450 devices were shipped by Finnish parent company Jolla at a
extravagant launch party.
Jolla’s origins lie in Nokia’s ill-fated MeeGo
platform, a smartphone operating system developed by Nokia but only
ever shipped on a single device, the Nokia N9. Sailfish OS
apps are built with another Nokia cast-off, the Qt framework, but
thanks to its Linux underpinnings can run “many” Android apps with
The first device to ship with Sailfish OS is also
named Jolla, and features a 4.5″ display, 8MP camera, 16GB storage,
1GB RAM and a MicroSD slot – retailing for €399 ($542). Just 450
Jolla phones were available at the launch event on Wednesday
evening, with the total number of preorders still strictly under
Jolla says it wants its own-brand smartphones to serve
as a showcase Sailfish OS, not unlike Google’s Nexus devices.
However, the (as yet unlicensed) open source code will be available
to other manufacturers if they so wish. For this initial phone,
Jolla has paired with major Finnish network DNA.
Sailfish OS is not the only independent mobile
operating system attempting to break Android’s dominance. Mozilla
are attempting to create a web-centric mobile OS in the form of
Firefox OS; Canonical are porting popular Linux distribution Ubuntu
to phones; and Samsung is investing heavily in another MeeGo
spinoff called Tizen.
With offices based out of both Finland and Hong Kong, Jolla
clearly have their eyes on the world. Whether the Finnish
enthusiasm is shared elsewhere, though, is yet to be seen.