Jolla smartphone in short supply at launch

Jolla will release its first smartphone this evening with the majority of the devices already reserved for those that preordered the device months ago.

The device is the brainchild of a group of former Nokia employees and runs on the Sailfish OS that was formed from the ashes of the MeeGo OS that itself was founded following the merger of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo platform.

Most of the 450 Jolla phones are reserved for pre-order customers with the remainder going on sale this evening and co-founder Marc Dillon informed the BBC that manufacturing will be increased in the coming months to cope with demand.

Those looking to buy the device will have to fork out €399 [£332] with Finnish operator DNA set to be the first carrier anywhere to carry the device, which will hit its retail shelves early next month. Further to this there are “thousands” of Finnish citizens that booked a device and company CEO Tomi Pienimäki earlier stated they will be contacted soon after the 450 Jolla phones have been sold.

The smartphone has a 4.5in display with a dual-core processor, support for 4G LTE, 16GB of onboard storage, a microSD card slot, 8-megapixel camera, a user-replaceable battery, and it is fully Android app compliant.

Sailfish OS has a button-less UI that is akin to the Windows Phone Live Tiles interface and comes pre-loaded with the Nokia Here maps feature as well as GPS to offer the most up-to-date map data and location information in over 190 countries.

The open nature of the OS is what could make it a success with analysts already excited by the base that it has the potential to build up.

"It's easy to characterise this as David v Goliath. But the fact is if Jolla can maintain a competitive cost base, there is already an enthusiast base seeking this product. It could be successful,” Geoff Blaber, an analyst at CCS, told the BBC.

Apps for the device can be downloaded from today through the Yandex.Store with a handful of Android applications, as well as Nokia Maps, available to Jolla owners.