A team of ex-Nokia employees has released the first handset running on a new smartphone platform.

The Jolla phone – pronounced Yol-la – is powered by open-source operating system Sailfish, but can run most apps designed for Google’s Android platform.

The company has paired with a major Finnish network, and hopes to set up a similar deal with a UK operator.

Industry analysts said Jolla faced a challenge in taking on a market dominated by Google and Apple.

Just 450 Jolla phones will be available at launch on Wednesday evening, with the majority going to customers who have pre-ordered the device.


Co-founder Marc Dillon told the BBC the company was in the process of ramping up manufacturing.

He said the phone’s ethos was to provide a more “open” approach to how people used their mobiles, a contrast to the relatively closed systems used on the iPhone and, to a lesser extent, Android devices.

“There’s different opportunities for people to get apps form different places, different stores,” he said.

“We’ve created a world-class platform. Users will be getting more choice.”

The OS

The platform – originally called MeeGo – was developed by Nokia, but dumped in 2011 in favour of the company adopting the Windows Phone system.

Nokia released just one handset running the software, the N9-00.

Antti Saarnio, chairman and co-founder of Jolla, told the BBC in May that MeeGo – now called Sailfish – had not been given enough chance to succeed.

“Everybody felt so strongly that they wanted to continue,” he said.

Large parts of the Sailfish code were open-source, which meant anyone could expand and adapt the platform, Mr Dillon said.

“We are ramping up our Jolla community right now.

“There’s already a Sailfish website so that developers can come and contribute.”

Credit: BBC