Finland-based mobile startup Jolla has announced that its Sailfish smartphone operating system is now compatible with Android, in terms of application and hardware compatibility.
While the company had previously mentioned that phones running the Sailfish OS would be able to run Android apps, by announcing support for hardware that's compatible with Android, it aims to reach a large number of OEMs that produce Android devices. Hardware compatibility with Android means OEMs will be able to leverage existing hardware already available for Android, and use it to run Sailfish operating system instead, if they want. This would enable the operating system to seek growth opportunities in markets like China.
"We believe Sailfish with Android compatibility is a highly relevant mobile operating system option for major mobile companies in Europe and in Asia. We are already in discussions with several major Asian vendors regarding this opportunity," says Tomi Pienimaki, CEO Jolla.
Jolla also said that it will cooperate with leading global app stores to ensure users can seamlessly download Android apps on their Sailfish-powered devices. The company noted that due to software compatibility with Google's operating system, popular Android apps can already run on the Sailfish platform.
"For example, highly popular apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Spotify run directly on Sailfish OS. Also Chinese WeChat - already with over 400 million users - runs on Sailfish OS," Pienimaki added.
The company also announced that it's opening the next production batch for pre-orders of its phones later in the week through its website, Jolla.com.
Jolla had closed its pre-sales campaign for its first Sailfish OS-based smartphone
, in August. The first Sailfish-based smartphones are targeted to begin shipping by the end of 2013, with the initial phones expected to be available in Europe. The company disclosed that it had received online pre-orders from 136 countries, but did not shed light on the number of units booked though it hinted that the number of devices sold through the campaign could be in the tens of thousands of units range.
Jolla's phone runs the gesture-based Sailfish OS which is based on the MeeGo platform
which received acclaim when it launched on Nokia's N9 smartphone. However, Nokia abandoned MeeGo and chose Windows Phone as the future OS platform for its smartphones, following which a group of employees of Nokia's MeeGo unit left the company to start Jolla and work on their own smartphone.