Ex-Nokia start-up Jolla to announce first MeeGo smartphones this year

Jussi Hurmola, the chief executive of smartphone start-up Jolla, has revealed the company is planning to unveil its first smartphones later this year.

Jolla was formed by a number of former engineers and executives from Nokia’s MeeGo N9 division who wanted to continue development on the next-generation MeeGo smartphone platform, which the Finnish phone giant abandoned in favour of Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform.

In an interview with Gigacom, Hurmola reveals that China and Europe will be the initial target markets for Jolla.

“Obviously China is a very large and fast-growing smartphone market, and also a country where most new manufacturers and players are emerging. We are a global business, and we will be targeting devices for Europe and also making them globally available,” says Hurmola.

“We’re going to announce the smartphone later this year. When we announce it, we’ll also say when you can buy it. We’re setting up an ecosystem. You can’t do a smartphone without supporting developers, services, navigation — we are setting all that up.”

Hurmola also reveals a few new details about the platform, including that it will use a different interface to MeeGo on the Nokia N9.

“It’s MeeGo with our own interface, and nice new features and functionality… We’re also talking about using the MeeGo software in other devices — not just Jolla. We want to make as big a wave as possible.”

“In terms of compatibility with WebOS, I don’t know — let’s see if something happens with WebOS. There are other things like Tizen and [the Mozilla Firefox OS] Boot 2 Gecko, and KDE. We as an emerging ecosystem are all about cross-platform and compatibility.”


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