Ex-Nokia employee start-up Jolla has signed its first major contract, with China’s largest smartphone retailer agreeing to stock the company’s smartphones.
According to PCMag, the D.Phone chain has agreed to sell Jolla’s smartphones across its 2,000 store network.
In a statement, D.Phone CEO Donghai Liu said “we see great potential for Jolla as a new player in the Chinese smartphone market”.
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The news is particularly significant for Jolla, given that China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest smartphone market.
Before signing on to Windows Phone, Nokia had been working on two Linux-based platforms (Meltemi for featurephones and MeeGo for smartphones) that it originally planned to use as a replacement for Symbian. However, further development of the Linux-based platforms was scrapped as part of the 10,000 job cuts recently announced at the company.
The decision by Nokia to discontinue development on MeeGo in favour of using Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform has been controversial, with former Nokia executive Tomi Ahonen recently attacking Nokia CEO Stephen Elop over the decision in a 29,000 word angry letter. In the letter, Ahonen descibes Elop as “the worst CEO ever seen in corporate governance and he truly must be fired immediately”.
Earlier this month, in the aftermath of Nokia’s announcement, a group of executives and engineers from Nokia’s N9 MeeGo division formed Jolla in order to continue to develop devices based on the MeeGo platform.