Jolla Sailfish an 'Android killer'

2014-03-17 12:00
The Jolla smartphone powered by Sailfish is aimed at taking on Google Android operating system. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The Jolla smartphone powered by Sailfish is aimed at taking on Google Android operating system. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Barcelona - A new operating system is necessary to inject excitement into a dull mobile phone ecosystem and offer manufacturers alternatives, an industry player has said.

Sailfish is advertised as a competitor for the dominance of Google's Android mobile operating system, that doesn't require users to abandon their favourite applications.

"First of all, the whole industry is stagnant; there hasn't been much change for years and years," Tim McDonald, head of marketing for Jolla told News24 about the need for a new OS.

Sailfish has its roots in Nokia's MeeGo which powered the N9 smartphone. Even though Nokia abandoned the OS in favour of Windows Phone for its flagship devices, a group of engineers left the company to continue pursuing software development of MeeGo.

Android has grown into a dominant mobile phone OS and eclipsed early platforms in terms of market share, including Apple's iOS which powers the iPhone.

Android applications

Even Android leader Samsung has quietly been working on an alternative to Google's OS and McDonald said that manufacturers were ready for substitutes.

"Other manufacturers are hungry for alternatives, so the landscape is completely ready" for Sailfish, he said.

Jolla's smartphones take many of their design cues from the N9, sporting an 8 megapixel main camera and 2 megapixel secondary camera, as well as 16GB of onboard storage and a micro-SD slot.

The 11.4cm display is protected by Gorilla Glass and the phone weighs in at 141g.

"I think Jolla is saying that 'We don't want to quit of a project that we really believed in' and naturally we decided to keep MeeGo alive," said McDonald.

The device critically runs Android applications so that it lowers the barrier to market penetration with users. This detail has also been adopted by Nokia which recently launched its X range of smartphones which are also Android compatible.

"All the [Android] apps that I've been using lately have been working great. We have the Yandex store with tens of thousands of applications; there're also other stores available which users can install on the phone - and it's improving all the time," said McDonald.


The Jolla smartphone is available in Europe for €399 and McDonald said that South Africans need not feel left out because the company was keen on developing markets as well.

"We're focusing now on the mid-range and I think that's attractive to both" market segments, he said.

Jolla hopes that manufacturers will adopt the new OS and demonstrated Sailfish running on several devices at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
- News24
Read more on:    google  |  nokia  |  mobile  |  mobile apps

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.