The Jolla phone has been finally announced yesterday and is now available for pre-order. The price is set at 399 EUR and the device will start shipping “by the end of 2013.”
The phone’s highlights include a 4.5-inch screen (most likely 720p HD), dual-core processor, 8-megapixel rear camera with flash, 16GB of internal storage plus a microSD card slot, and LTE connectivity support, as well as the gesture-based Sailfish OS that works in a similar fashion to MeeGo and BlackBerry 10 (they all share the same roots). Perhaps more importantly, with Jolla users get an option to run Android apps though I guess there will be some glitches here and there with apps requiring access to specific phone functions.
The Jolla phone consists of two parts, one housing the screen, processor and all other hardware; and the plastic back cover that comes in different colors. The neat thing — which we’ve seen before on some Nokia phones — is that the device can detect which back cover you’re using and react accordingly, changing colors, fonts, backgrounds, favorite media files and so on.
That’s all cool, but is it enough to compete in today’s market? Let’s face it, Jolla is facing some tough competition not just from incumbent players like iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10; but also from aggressive newcomers like Canonical (Ubuntu), Mozilla (Firefox OS) and Tizen (backed by Samsung and some other major corporations). The Finnish company doesn’t seem to target business users (at least not initially) and their recently announced funding round from China Fortune can help it move quite a few units in the world’s most populous nation. Then again, Chinese also have an array of platforms to choose from and I do wonder how many of them are willing to experiment with a nascent platform that still doesn’t have a single major backer.
The Sailfish OS looks pretty amazing but that’s not enough. Going forward, Jolla’s goal should be to amaze developers, media and get more partners to its eco-system. It’s a long ride and we want them to succeed. Alas, we’ll have to try out the first Jolla phone to make our judgment. In the meantime, we’re curious – what you think about Jolla? Does it have what it take to succeed?