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Finnish Firm Signs With Yandex

Published: December 4, 2013 (Issue # 1789)

  • The new Jolla phone was designed by ex-Nokia employees who partnered with Yandex.Store for the delivery of apps.
    Photo: Jolla / For SPT

The long-awaited unveiling of Jolla phones took place in Helsinki on Nov. 27. The first batch of 450 smartphones from the start-up Finnish mobile device developer Jolla was delivered to those who had pre-ordered the phone. The phone is due to enter the wider Finnish market in early December.

The company launched the phone in May this year, receiving pre-orders from 136 countries.

The new phone uses Nokias HERE mapping technology with apps for the Jolla phone available through Yandex.Store, which is run by the Russian internet giant Yandex.

Jollas strategy is always to work with the most respectable service partners in specific markets and create long-term strategic partnerships. We analyzed a number of alternative Android app stores to use for our first markets in Europe, and quickly found out that Yandexs offer is very competitive and that they are very interested in developing their app store together with us for the needs of Sailfish customers, says Jolla CEO, Tomi Pienimäki.

Jolla phones will be available for wider distribution once the phones hit the shelves of DNA stores in Finland.

The company has also hinted that it may be opening its own store in due course. The phones will be also sold online directly from the manufacturer.

We have truly made a phone to the best of our ability. Ive got high hopes, said Jolla co-founder Marc Dillon to the Wall Street Journal.

Forbes, the global business information provider, predicted that the Finnish smartphone maker will be one of the key disrupters on the smartphone markets this year, alongside Firefox and Unbuntu Mobile.

Coming on the heels of Nokias sale to Microsoft, Jolla is the latest Finnish high-tech device to emerge from the country that long dominated the field of mobile communication.

Forbes compares Jollas smartphone, inspired by Nokias MeeGo platform, to sports car manufacturer Ferrari, and believes that the company can be profitable with lower sales numbers than traditional mobile manufacturers.

Headquartered in Helsinki, Jolla was founded by a group of ex-Nokia employees and has developed its mobile devices and an open operating system known as Sailfish based on MeeGo and Mer Core open source projects. In addition to its research and development sites in Helsinki and Tampere, Jolla has offices in Hong Kong and is establishing research and development operations in China.

The phone retails for 399 euros and Jollas operating system is able to run Android applications.

Demand for the Jolla has truly exceeded our expectations. The atmosphere at this event is a pretty strong sign that the Jolla is a welcome alternative on the mobile phone market, said Cedric Kamtsan, manager of the Jolla project at DNA, speaking at last weeks launch.

The operator DNA holds the exclusive right to sell Jolla phones in Finland during the mobiles launch stage.

So far, development has been the challenge for Jolla, but a new challenge is gathering market share. Its not in any way an easy field Jyrki Ali-Yrkko, Research Director at the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, told Finnish public broadcaster Yle.

The company is up against the major players Google, Apple and Microsoft, but also smaller newcomers are entering the market, like Mozilla and Ubuntu.

Jolla told Yle that it aims for sales of around 20,000 phones in 2013 and around 200,000 phones during the first year.


Times Talk


Sunday, Apr. 20

Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianitys holiest day.

Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the deserts most iconic plant.

Monday, Apr. 21

Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDAs Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.

Tuesday, Apr. 22

SPIBAs Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.

The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.