Sailfish OS to run Android apps

Finnish start up handset manufacturer Jolla has announced that its Sailfish mobile operating system is now compatible with the Android ecosystem, in terms of application and hardware compatibility. Android applications can now run directly on Sailfish OS without any modifications, the firm said.

Jolla unveiled its Sailfish OS in November last year. It is a Linux mobile operating system based on the abandoned MeeGo project. The firm was set up by a group of ex-Nokia executives aiming to design, develop and sell MeeGo-based smartphones. MeeGo was a free, Linux-based mobile operating system project that was first announced at Mobile World Congress 2010 by Intel and Nokia, but abandoned in 2011.

Jolla added that it will cooperate with leading global app stores to ensure users can seamlessly download Android apps just as they would do on an Android device.

“For example, highly popular apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Spotify run directly on Sailfish OS. Also Chinese WeChat – already with over 400 million users – runs on Sailfish OS,” said Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki.

Jolla added that Sailfish OS was developed to run on common hardware produced for Android and that this new level of compatibility will enable device vendors who use Sailfish OS to fully utilise the existing Android hardware ecosystem.

The firm believes that this attribute of the OS offers growth opportunities of significant scale for Sailfish globally, especially in China.

“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,” said Pienimäki.

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Jolla unveiled its first device in May and announced in August that its first production batch of smartphones had sold out.

It said that all of the pre-orders were fulfilled by mid-July with demand from 136 countries. Jolla said that its view on the size of such a production batch is typically 50,000 units.

“Due to extremely positive feedback and increased demand in the past weeks, we are offering another pre-order opportunity for our second production batch later this week through,” Pienimäki added.

“This will be targeted to Finnish customers who want to express their passion for the Finnish mobile industry.”

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