Jolla releases Sailfish SDK, inks first carrier, chipset deals
Finnish startup Jolla publicly unveiled its forthcoming Sailfish mobile operating system at the Slush event in Helsinki, releasing the first version of its SDK and announcing deals with carrier DNA and chipset maker ST-Ericsson.
Jolla said that Sailfish--based on Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) abandoned MeeGo platform--will be built via community involvement and participation. The Sailfish user interface is designed for multitasking, enabling consumers to move seamlessly between running applications--in addition, users can interact with running apps directly via the home view, ending calls or pausing songs without re-entering the app itself. The UI also touts a host of personalization options designed to further simplify the user experience.
In addition to the Sailfish UI framework, the Sailfish SDK incorporates Mer Core's tools, Qt Creator, Jolla UI components and Sailfish handset application interfaces. The SDK is available and developed here.
Finnish operator DNA will sell and market Sailfish smartphones as soon as they become commercially available in 2013; speaking at Slush, Jolla Chairman Antti Saarnio said other carrier deals are in the pipeline as well. ST-Ericsson will support Sailfish OS in its NovaThor platforms: "We also target to announce other chipset provider partnerships soon," said Jolla CEO Marc Dillon. Jolla also launched the Sailfish Alliance, which unites OEM and ODM manufacturers, chipset providers, operators, application developers and retailers.
Jolla--established earlier this year by ex-Nokia staffers--has raised $258 million from a variety of telecommunications industry players to launch Sailfish. The firm will distribute Sailfish to device manufacturers free of charge, and it plans to generate revenue by licensing proprietary software features and from intellectual property rights.
The open-source MeeGo combines Nokia' former Maemo platform with Intel's erstwhile Moblin efforts. Nokia effectively halted its participation in the project in early 2011 after inking a broad strategic partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) that positions the software maker's Windows Phone mobile operating system as Nokia's primary smartphone platform. Intel abandoned MeeGo a year ago, throwing its support behind Tizen, the Linux-based cross-architecture device software platform backed by the Linux Foundation and LiMo Foundation.
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