Jolla Phone Release Date In May, Sailfish UI Challenges Windows Phone, Android (VIDEO)

Finland-based startup phone manufacturer Jolla will launch its pre-sale campaign in May for its Sailfish smartphone release. The company hopes to lure potential buyers, offering a unique hands-on experience with the smartphone's design.

The pre-sale is a Kickstarter-like effort, which will allow people to get a unit on reserve along with other incentives that Jolla would not elaborate on. Jolla is being tight-lipped about the phone's hardware information, but the UI is consumer-friendly, according to Jolla.

"Our operating system is very competitive. The UI is very consumer-friendly. The big difference in this situation with us from Microsoft or others is that Jolla doesn't have any business legacy. We don't have any market position. We don't have a cost base to defend. We can have very flexible models," Chairman of Jolla Ltd. Antti Saarnio said.

The Sailfish UI is similar to Windows and Android found on mobile devices where users can access contacts or messages with the use of tiles or widgets. Swiping is also found on the Sailfish OS that lets users unlock their phones and view hidden notifications from a corner of the display.

"It's done in a way that so that your notifications are private and no one can see them directly on your phone's screen," Vice President Sami Pienimaki said.

The Sailfish OS may be an alternative to Android and will function on other devices, including tablets, smart TVs and even automobiles.

"The Sailfish operating system is very scalable and we have ported it to many form factors, but we are mainly a smartphone company," Pienimaki said.

As TechCrunch reported, the pre-sale campaign is not to fund production of the smartphone but is a pre-sale designed for fans to get first dibs on the device.

So far, Jolla has raised over 10 million euros ($13 million) from private investors: not bad for the startup made up of ex-Nokia employees. Jolla hopes to continue to build upon the smartphone OS that Nokia steered away from, switching to the Windows Phone 8 OS.

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