A group of ex-Nokia employees who quit over the company's decision to
abandon the planned MeeGo operating system in favour of Windows plan to
launch their own smartphone next year, their start-up said on Wednesday.
company Jolla, which counts four former Nokia engineers and directors
among its five founders, presented its new operating system Sailfish in
Helsinki and co-founder and chairman of the board Antti Saarnio promised
to deliver "the world's best smartphone" by mid-2013.
"Jolla's own phone will be a high-end premium product," Saarnio told AFP.
In addition, the company will offer Sailfish products to retailer and operator partners for the medium-price range.
target and key market is China "because this is the most dynamic market
at the moment in the smartphone industry and the industry there is
looking for different alternatives to make smartphones."
The US market is not part of Jolla's business plan, but Europe and North Africa are, Saarnio said.
- which in Finnish means both a small sailboat and a life boat - was
started a little over a year ago, shortly after Nokia decided to go with
the Windows OS.
"Most of our team was at that time working in the
MeeGo unit and we were so passionate about MeeGo and felt it was so
competitive that we wanted to continue the development and start a
company," Saarnio explained.
Today the company employs 50 people and is hiring each month.
has already received financing of more than 10 million euros ($12.8
million) from private Finnish and international investors and Finnish
"This is enough for developing and commercialising
the product, both hardware and software," said Saarnio, who himself
still uses a Nokia N9 mobile phone.
"In the spring we intend to raise about 20 million euros for growth financing," he said.
distribution deals are already in place, with the largest smartphone
retailer in China, D.Phone, and the Finnish operator DNA.
The phone's physical design will be revealed early next year.
said the Jolla phones would offer "multi-tasking and true user
interface differentiation ... freeing people from opening and closing
applications, making the use of the smartphones much more efficient and
letting them tailor their screens much more than others."
The Sailfish OS will also run on tablets, he said.