Ex-Nokia smartphone start-up Jolla begins shipping its first handsets

Jolla, a smartphone start-up founded by former Nokia MeeGo-N9 team engineers in Finland, has begun shipping its first smartphones.

The company’s smartphone runs an Android-compatible operating system called Sailfish OS, which is an upgrade of the MeeGo operating system used on Nokia’s N9 smartphone.

MeeGo was Nokia’s internally developed next generation all-touch smartphone platform.

However, it was abandoned before the release of the first device to use it, the Nokia N9, in favour of Windows Phone 7 by controversial former Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop.

The decision was controversial, with former executive Tomi Ahonen attacking Elop over the move.

Following the decision, Jolla was formed by a number of former engineers and executives from Nokia’s MeeGo N9 division – who announced they would continue developing smartphones based on the MeeGo platform outside Nokia.

Since then, Microsoft has agreed to purchase the mobile assets of Nokia, along with a licence to use its patents, for $US7.2 billion.

Soon after, the start-up revealed it had secured a contract with China’s largest phone retail chain and raised $US258 million in funding.

In a statement earlier this week, the start-up announced its official launch event in Finland.

“The launch party is on 27 November at Narinkka Square in Helsinki, Finland, where DNA will setup a pop-up store and deliver the world’s first pre-ordered Jolla.

“At the event a total of 450 Jollas will be sold to customers who have pre-ordered their phones in the first pre-booking campaign. At the same time, we will start mail deliveries in the order of pre-bookings.”

The company is now shipping devices to customers who pre-ordered them, with customers in the EU set to receive the devices first.

The device measures 131×68 mm, is 9.9 mm thick and weighs 141 grams.

The 4G/LTE device features a Qualcomm Dual Core 1.4GHz processor, 16 gigabytes of storage, MicroSD, a 4.5-inch IPS qHD display with a resolution of 960 x 540, and an 8-megapixel camera.

The smartphone features replaceable back covers, and automatically changes its colour scheme and background to match the cover.

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