Finnish smartphone startup Jolla looks to take Apple and Samsung with Sailfish smartphone

“Tizen, Ubuntu Touch, Firefox OS: 2013 appears to be the year of the alternative smartphone OS,” Jo Best reports for ZDNet.

“By the end of this year, big name mobile operators like Telefonica and manufacturers including Samsung will have worked together to get devices running the OSes onto the market,” Best reports. “But it’s not just the big guys that want to upset the Apple-Android duopoly. Finnish startup Jolla is taking aim too. Founded in late 2011, the company making its own hardware and software (in the form of its Sailfish OS) and planning to have devices consumers’ hands in the last quarter of 2013.”

Best reports, “The startup was set up by five Nokia staffers who had worked on the company’s short-lived MeeGo effort — the open source OS now forms the basis of Sailfish — and initially funded by Nokia’s own Bridge programme, which helps finance departing employees’ new businesses… For any new smartphone OS, getting developer support — and therefore native apps — will be key to its success. While Jolla execs works on building its ecosystem in Europe and China, the company will be plugging Sailfish’s app gap using an Android compatibility layer.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As long as the ideas are original, more power to ’em!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James Christman” for the heads up.]


  1. A computer Company..
    A media distribution Company..
    A portable Devices Company..
    A Software Company…
    Are you getting it? these are not 4 (or may be more) separates companies, THESE ARE ONE ECOSYSTEM!!!!
    So, no Jolla, don’t get your hopes too high just because you are going to make your own hardware and software, that’s exactly what the iPhone killed (Moto and Nokia used to make their own hardware and software).. it takes a lot more than that.. it takes a trusted brand.. like apple .

    1. It wasn’t too long ago that pundits like you were saying,
      “it takes a lot more than that.. it takes a trusted brand.. like IBM”.

      A scrappy young competitor that offers quality and value can indeed succeed. Apple did it more than once. Now, however, Apple gives every indication of a slow, plodding, unresponsive corporation.

      Don’t you believe in choice?

      1. Mike, I agree……. and disagree.

        Calling Apple slow, plodding, and unresponsive means you are using a non linear time line. Could you be a part of the “I want it today” generation?? You know new toys every day??

        Apple takes its time for new items to make sure that new things just work. And in the mean time they keep improving the existing line.

        Time, young padawan, time.

        Just a thought.

        1. You have to realize that practically the whole smartphone industry considers Apple slow and plodding at least in comparison to Samsung. Samsung can turn out relatively successful products in months. They must have a pipeline as big as a city water main. Apple seems to be struggling to turn out about three products a year, while Samsung can do that every month.

          I don’t know if Apple’s leisurely product timeline is purposefully done that way or not. I’m only saying how it appears to everyone else. Nowadays, it’s all about perceptions. You either have new products or you don’t. Apple doesn’t appear have new products as of yet. The words used to describe Apple’s product introductions are late, tardy, slow, delayed, overdue, etc. Apple works at a pace that is somewhat unpredictable and it annoys analysts, investors and shareholders alike. What else can be said.

          1. “You have to realize that practically the whole smartphone industry considers Apple slow and plodding at least in comparison to Samsung”

            That is the must stupid statement I have ever heard… Apple does what Apple does. Focus, simplicity. One product at the time.

      2. Unfortunately, it looks as though success means market share and not how good the actual product is. This Jolla smartphone would have be be far, far better than an Apple or Samsung smartphone to gain any traction. What could this Sailfish smartphone possibly offer to have that much of an advantage. I say the Jolla Sailfish becomes another Notion Ink Adam. Too big a dream and not enough cash.

  2. I, too, hope they become successful. They seem like an honest company that won’t do shady things like Samsung or Google. This is competition that Apple needs. Hopefully, they become Europe’s Apple. In my opinion, every country deserves to have a company that they should be proud of.

  3. And Linux is going to take over the desktop, any day now….

    Really, MDN’s take really should have been:


    “OK, we are all right now.”

    1. No, MDN’s take is completely correct. This is the type of competition Apple needs. From what I have seen of Jolla’s phones, they are very original, and have even created new features I have yet to see in a smartphone. Jolla isn’t a bunch of cheaters and liars that M$/Google/Samsung are, they are a true and honest group that simply wants to make phones, and I like them for that. I would get a Jolla phone before I touch anything MS/Google/Samsung.

    1. Finland, not South Korea. I get the anti-Korean bias, but just because he has a funny name (that’s Finnish) does not mean he will somehow screw over Apple.

      1. From Wikipedia: Simo Häyhä (December 17, 1905 – April 1, 2002), nicknamed “White Death” by the Red Army, was a Finnish sniper. Using a modified Mosin–Nagant in the Winter War, he has the highest recorded number of confirmed sniper kills – 505 – in any major war. Furthermore, he has a total confirmed kill record of at least 705, as he is credited for at least 200 more kills with a Suomi 9mm submachine gun. All of these kills occurred within 100 days.

        1. I actually did not know that. Thanks for that interesting history lesson. The thing is, though, that some people here act like only Apple can make great things, and everyone else is a carbon copy of Samsung. I actually have strong faith in Jolla’s new OS. I am sorry if I sounded rude or anything. I am just getting tired of the attitude that non-Apple companies=liars, cheaters, and other assorted scum. Apple needs quality competition like this young Finnish upstart.

          1. Just a thought here. Most Americans do not think that every non-American company is bad. But there are some major companies in the world (samsung, nokia, blackberry, etc) suffer from the standard problem, companies that get so big and slow cause the only employees that reach the top have been there for 30 years and know nothing except the old way of doing things.

            Then there are the really bad companies like samsung and google that fully believe its OK to steal anything they want. Evil companies.

  4. Jolla may well be in with a chance. My impression is that a hell of a lot of customers are unaware of the OS on the phone they get. They simply sign up for the one that looks right for them.

    If Jolla create a solid product, the crucial aspect will be to get salespeople to push their phones. If they manage to find a way to do that, they could do very well.

  5. > For any new smartphone OS, getting developer support — and therefore native apps — will be key to its success.

    Apple played this SO smart, with iPhone. Apple released iPhone with only the built-in native apps. There was no need to get developer support. iPhone was initially successful, because it did what other smartphones did already, but vastly improved the user experience. Having third-party apps was not “key to its success.” It was not even in the picture.

    THEN, after the first year, after the customer base for iPhone had grown to millions, Apple said to developers, here’s your SDK, go at it…! And here’s the App Store, where you can sell your apps to millions of highly enthusiastic customers. Absolutely no prodding required. The iOS ecosystem grew effortlessly, on the part of Apple.

    AFTER iPhone Year Two, the expectation for any new smartphone platform has been to have native app developers and a fully-stocked “app store” on Day One. Anyone trying to enter the field has MUCH bigger obstacles to overcome. It may even be insurmountable, because on Day One, the new platform’s user base is ZERO. Just ask Palm (failed) and Microsoft (failing).

    1. And there are still people who genuinely believe that it was the pressure from the users that convinced Jobs to change his mind and build SDK and App Store…

      Even without any internal information, it would be so obvious that the SDK and App Store was in the plan before even the first iPhone was released.

      So many people seem to be hung up on little piece of information about Jobs’s initial skepticism about SDK and apps, so they stretch that timeline to make it look like they were instrumental in changing Jobs’s mind. They weren’t. It was other Apple engineers who did that, well before the original iPhone was even announced.

  6. Ohh the irony if Jolla (made up of sacked Nokia employees) would beat eFlop because Elop killed meego and meltemi to make room for Windows phone.

    Go for it Jolla!

  7. If this will run Android using the compatibility layer, what does this mean for performance of those apps? Is it an emulator?

    If so, I wouldn’t think that this would be a great experience for the user. Fragmentation in Android already degrades the experience.

  8. MDN take. Agreed!
    The space is dominated by Apple and unfortunately Google, but we could all benefit from some original competition.
    Right now the industry is kind of a joke. Really. It is just Apple, a couple of embroiled rip-off artists and some lame has-been sideshows (MS and formerly known as RIM).
    Not really a vibrant industry space. It’s really just Apple and the clowns right now.

  9. You guys only see the phones from a “features” and fashion pov; but what is really great about Jolla is that their OS is open source TRUE Linix based, so you own and control ALL the software running in the Jolla device; this only seduces nerds like me and people worried about corporations trapping users into insecure, closed source devices.

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