Back in April, we told you about Jolla and its unique Kickstarter pre-order campaign for phone fanboys who wanted first dibs on a new handset developed by former Nokia personnel with its own OS called Sailfish.
It seems that Jolla (pronounced Yo-La) is closer to being a reality now, and though it will more likely be released toward the end of this year in lieu of this month as previously suggested, the phone may very well give Nokia (not to mention other industry rivals) a run for its money.
According to a report published on Monday, May 20 by the BBC, the Jolla Sailfish operating system was "built from the remnants of MeeGo, a project abandoned by Nokia in 2011 in favour of adopting Windows Phone for its handsets."
Considering the various problems we've seen with Windows phones, including the dreaded "App Gap," the idea that Jolla and Sailfish may have a chance in an already uber-crowded market –– at least against Nokia –– isn't too farfetched.
Another unique aspect of Jolla is that it will be only be sold online, the BBC reports. Those working on Jolla believe that it has plenty more to offer that will be unique in the marketplace, as well.
"For a couple of years we haven't had anything really interesting in the mobile phone market," Jolla Chairman and Co-Founder Antti Saarnio said.
"This creates opportunities for newcomers to come in. It's different, but it's purposefully different."
Specs/features of the Jolla phone include:
- 4.5-inch screen
- 8MP camera
- Compatible with Google apps
The Jolla phone will additionally come with something called the "Other Half." This feature of the phone involves its having an interchangeable backing, which is colored and will swap the interface for the Jolla depending on which backing is used.
The colors for your favourite football team could be integrated into your Jolla's interface if you switch up the backing, for example.
Though Saarnio would not confirm how the Other Half works, many analysts are speculating that it has something to do with NFC technology.
"You connect it to the phone, and the user interface reflects the players and colours of the team," Saarnio said to the BBC. "It's an interesting way to show you 'belong' with something."
It was in 2011 that Saarnio and fellow colleagues at Nokia left to create a new OS that would compete with Apple's iOS and Google Android. Though Nokia did release one handset (N900) with the group's MeeGo software, Saarnio didn't feel it was given the chance it needed to really succeed in the marketplace.
"The team really felt that this was one of the best phones in the market, even though it was quite under-marketed," Saarnio said. "Everybody felt so strongly that they wanted to continue."
The group continued working on MeeGo, renaming it Sailfish.
Saarnio has no ill will toward his former employer and has stated that the team would be happy to allow Nokia to integrate Sailfish into future handsets.
"We are actually quite open - we are offering this operating system for other smartphone makers to use," Saarnio said. "Let's wait and see and we will just do our best in our business."
What do you think about the idea of a Jolla phone and Sailfish OS from a few former Nokia guys? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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