The move will boost Sailfish OS’s chances in China, where third-party Android app stores are the norm. Also, Jolla will open up pre-orders for a second batch of its smartphone later this week, targeting patriotic Finns first.

Jolla phone

Finland’s Jolla has made its Sailfish OS hardware- and app-compatible with Android, a move it says will help manufacturers pick up the new mobile operating system with minimal hassle. The company already has Android apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Spotify running on Sailfish OS, it said.

Sailfish OS is derived from MeeGo, Nokia and Intel’s once-promising Linux-based platform, which got canned when Nokia adopted Windows Phone. Android app compatibility, always in the cards,  is something that could attract consumers, but Jolla is pitching hardware compatibility as a boon to manufacturers, too. After all, they’re all already making Android phones, so being able to reuse the same hardware designs would be a plus.

As recently-installed Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki said in a statement on Monday:

“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.”

Pienimäki also noted that the Android version of WeChat is running happily on Sailfish OS. This will be handy – WeChat is China’s leading chat app, and Jolla is trying to push hard into China with its D.Phone distribution deal (covering its own Sailfish OS-equipped Jolla smartphone).

Will Jolla succeed in finding other manufacturers to run with Sailfish OS? It’s not out of the question. In China, for instance, third-party Android app stores are the norm, as Google Play doesn’t carry paid apps in that country. Sailfish OS can’t use the Play Store, but if it can work with those third-party app stores, then that’s a good start – indeed, Monday’s statement says the company will “co-operate with leading global app stores to ensure users can seamlessly download Android apps just as they would do on any Android device.”

The statement also referred to the recently-announced Microsoft takeover of Nokia’s handset division (bear in mind that Jolla is largely staffed by Nokia refugees). Noting a “very dynamic” last few weeks, and following Jolla’s recent wrapping-up of its first production batch, Pienimäki said “Finnish customers who want to express their passion for the Finnish mobile industry” would get first crack at pre-orders for the second batch later this week.

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  1. So Jolla matured out from “Ferrari of mobile phones”-concept?

  2. Umm, take a look at every non-Android platform that added Android compatibility and ask them how that helped them increase sales.

  3. Steve Yelvington Monday, September 16, 2013

    I wish them the best. I was a Maemo user on the Nokia N800 and was well aware of the idiocy that doomed Nokia. But somebody: Please give me a reason for any of this. Why would I want Sailfish vs Android?

  4. This is…the defining moment..if Jolla’s in standing against Android it could be a serious competitor.

    But then again we are talking about a company who has a legacy of abandoning/duping cool projects :|

    1. Yeah well the decision to abandon meego came higher from the command. The guys working on Jolla are the people who worked on meego, not the people who canceled it.

      1. lol noo..you got me wrong.

        ikr…its always been “higher command”..
        I am with you brother.. :| (*pun intended*)

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