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Summary:

Developers can now sink their teeth into the smartphone OS that picks up where MeeGo left off. However, the operating system will struggle to make its voice heard in a turbulent year for mobile.

Sailfish OS screens

Software development kit (SDK) installers for the Sailfish smartphone operating system are now out, Jolla has announced on Twitter. The SDK was previously demoed at Mobile World Congress in February.

Jolla, which is led by ex-Nokians, has taken the abandoned MeeGo OS and wrangled it into a new, slicker version called Sailfish. The Linux-based OS will in theory be available for a number of device types, but the first commercially-available version will be on a smartphone sold through the Chinese distributor D.Phone and the Finnish carrier DNA.

According to a separate tweet a few days ago, the timescale for that release is looking a bit fuzzy:

One significant partnership announced at Helsinki’s Slush Festival last November will already be in trouble, namely that with ST-Ericsson – a chipmaker that is in the process of being broken up by parent companies STMicro and Ericsson.

Sailfish will certainly find itself in choppy waters this year. There are a range of factors that threaten the iOS-Android duopoly, from Windows Phone and BlackBerry to newer players such as Firefox OS — and let’s not forget Nokia’s low-end Asha platform, which will likely compete in the same market as Sailfish and Firefox OS, and Facebook Home, whose effect on the smartphone scene is yet to be felt.

Jolla will have a tough time establishing itself, but at least developers can really sink their teeth into its native app potential (they can also submit Android, HTML5 and Qt apps) now that they have the SDK.

  1. I just installed it and am getting familiar with it. It looks easy to use and hopefully I can create some small programs for personal use soon.

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  2. Time-scale for release is not looking more fuzzy, they’ve maintained 2H 2013 for “at least” 1mth now, before that they were aiming for Q3 at the very latest.

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  3. Jolla’s flavour of Sailfish* isn’t targeting the same price segment as FFOS or Asha (S40) at all. They’ve explained several times that they’re targeting the mid to top-end (although not the very top-end).

    *there will be at least one other OEM aside from Jolla.

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  4. Correction:

    They’ve explained several times that they’re targeting the top-end (although not the very top-end).

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