Jolla, the smartphone OS manufacturer founded by ex-Nokia employees, has finally found a partner for its Sailfish 2.0 OS. The OS will be incorporated in Intex’ 4G smartphone known as Intex Aqua Fish, making it the first smartphone to sport Sailfish OS, globally.
Intex Aqua Fish will be priced at less than ₹10000 ($150) and will be released in September this year. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU with 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory which can be expanded up to 32GB via micro SD card and is powered by a 2,300 mAh battery.
It will also have a new interface called iDMOS for smartphones and has a 4.7-inch 720p HD. iDMOS was announced by Intex, along with a pebble-like smartwatch in MWC Shanghai.
Jolla also talked about its plans and strategy for their BRICS market, particularly India and about pitching Sailfish as a more secure and flexible alternative to the open source Android and iOS. It also announced Sailfish India, their regional mobile ecosystem initiative for India with its first partners as Intex Technologies, Times Internet and Snapdeal.
The aim for Sailfish India is to develop a unique Indian mobile ecosystem, which will lead to greater differentiation in the market with more choices for consumers, higher user satisfaction and better revenues for local businesses. Further Sailfish India partners will be announced later,
Jolla said today
Jolla was founded by ex-Nokia engineers who worked on Meego operating system and were reportedly not happy about Nokia’s decision to collaborate with Windows phones.
Jolla garnered the public attention with their crowd funding initiative last year for Jolla tablet which managed to raise $1 million within 48 hours. Due to such overwhelming response, they also offered a price cut on the Jolla smartphone.
However, the hype has pretty much died out since then due to the delay in Jolla tablet launch which is still awaiting launch.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, Jolla unveiled its Sailfish 2.0 OS at MWC, Barcelona which featured a better user interface, multi-tasking, support for Intel architecture, and new software integration capabilities for partners.
Jolla also declared to focus their attention on developing the software and licensing it to other OEMs for incorporating it in their hardware.
Intex, which claims to be the second largest Indian smartphone maker after Micromax, has become the first manufacturer to license Sailfish 2.0. Speaking about the partnership, Sanjay Kalirona, Head Mobile Business, Intex Technologies said,
We are very excited to be the world’s first licensing partner for Sailfish OS and look forward to utilising the great user experience of the next generation Sailfish OS 2.0 in our products. Together with the Sailfish India ecosystem partners we believe that we can provide an exciting new choice for smartphone lovers in India and later globally as well.
Sailfish also features a unique area called Partner Space (revenue-model comes in) which will allow its partners to embed their content within the OS. So, if a user sweeps left or right on screen, it shows the partner content, for example, the Gaana home screen to play music on the go.
The existing partners Times Internet and Snapdeal have already agreed to provide their content in Sailfish 2.0 which will also be a source of revenue for them. However, it remains to be seen if this strategy is really successful or will be deemed as annoying or intrusive like ads by users, considering this partners pace is currently extremely limited.