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Jolla CEO hopes to put an end to smartphone spec war

Mikael Ricknäs | Feb. 27, 2013
Finnish company Jolla and its CEO Marc Dillon are hoping to convince consumers that buying a new smartphone isn't just about the number of cores available and the size of the screen when the company later this year releases the first smartphone based on the Sailfish OS.

The homescreen also uses what Jolla calls active covers, which are thumbnails of opened applications from which users also can access multiple features directly by scrolling from side-to-side or just clicking on them to access the main feature.

Jolla's first product will be about spearheading the market, proving that a small company can develop a competitive product.

"In order to be successful we don't have to sell that many devices compared to the other guys. If you have an 800 million global device market, a million devices is still a wild success for Jolla, at the moment, and for Sailfish," Dilllon said.

Even though the company didn't announce a product at Mobile World Congress, it did take an important step and released the first version of its SDK, which will allow developers to start working on apps.

Jolla is also hoping to license Sailfish to other phone makers. The company is already talking to potential partners. To show what it can do, the company borrows hardware from a potential partner, and then Jolla comes back in a few days or weeks with Sailfish installed on it. It has been developed to be easily adaptable to different screen sizes, a lesson learned at Nokia.

When Dillon left Nokia he had worked at the company for 11 years.

"There was such fantastic collection of people there over the years. We used to joke that Finland is a small country and Nokia is an even smaller country," Dillon said.

What ended up happening after the strategy change was that a lot people who would have stayed their whole work lives have started new companies. Nokia encouraged if not completely supported that behavior as people where transitioning in their lives, according to Dillon.

"For a little while there was a concern about the technology sector in Finland. But we are not worried anymore," he said.

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