Aqua Fish is the first device in the world running a licensed Sailfish OS mobile operating system
Mobile World Congress: Jolla, the Finnish mobile company and developer of open mobile operating system Sailfish OS, has announced the first Sailfish OS-based smartphone here in Barcelona, which has been developed by India-based Intex Technologies. The company has also released news of a new Sailfish Africa initiative with Mauritius-based African mobile devices brand, Mifone, and collaboration plans with Dutch device manufacturer, Fairphone.
These announcements present a boost to Jolla’s regional strategy, focusing especially to BRICS countries, said the company.
Aqua Fish is Intex’s upcoming addition to the Aqua smart product line. It is the first device in the world running a licensed Sailfish OS mobile operating system. Sale of the device will start at the end of April 2016.
Aqua Fish comes with a previously unseen concept for integrating premium locally relevant content directly into the smartphone’s user interface. These services, called Super Apps, are available to the user with a single swipe from the smartphone’s home view, and are designed to improve the user experience. The first market version of Aqua Fish will include Super Apps from Gaana, one of India’s most popular music services, and Snapdeal, a leading Indian e-commerce player.
Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, mobile business head, Intex Technologies, commented: “Intex has always brought innovative products in every hand, and has been recognised for its contribution in democratising smartphones. Keeping with the tradition, we are the first mobile handset brand in the world to present a licensed Sailfish OS powered smartphone to the world and for the Indian consumers. Sailfish OS is a young mobile OS; a challenger with a lot of promise.”
Jolla’s new partnership with mi-Fone, meanwhile, brings the Sailfish OS to the African continent. The first mi-Fone device powered by Sailfish OS is expected to hit selected African markets in the second quarter 2016 and will be combined with a service offering tailored for the massmarket.
Antti Saarnio, chairman of the board of Jolla, commented: “We, together with mi-Fone, strongly believe that Africa needs its own mobile ecosystem.” He added that, “mi-Fone as an African brand is a natural device partner for us”. Saarnio added that when Jolla then integrates banks, e-commerce platforms and other services into Sailfish OS, “we can truly offer something meaningful for consumers”.
Alpesh Patel, founder and CEO at mi-Fone, said: “We believe the real value for consumers comes from experiences. This is where Sailfish OS offers mi-Fone great opportunities to build differentiation and develop locally relevant offerings. We also believe that our African consumers will appreciate Sailfish OS’s focus on openness and privacy.”
With Fairphone, since autumn 2015 the Jolla developer community has been working to port Sailfish OS to smartphone, the Fairphone 2. This device is modular in design, so increasing its longevity and reparability. Following the progress of the community porting, Jolla and Fairphone are now evaluating possibilities to enter into commercial collaboration based on common values.
Olivier Hebert, CTO, at Fairphone stated: “Making the Fairphone 2 hardware an open development platform has been one of our major ambitions from the start. This way, we can foster innovation and research into new mobile software technology and applications, while providing our customers with choice. Sailfish OS is something that a large proportion of our community has been very interested in. We will continue supporting the community to port Sailfish OS to the Fairphone 2 and are excited to explore the opportunity of commercial collaboration with Jolla.”