Jolla’s Sailfish 2.0 OS to debut on the Intex Aqua Fish smartphone

On day two of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai, Jolla announced that Intex will become the first global licensing partner to run Sailfish 2.0 on its devices. Intex’s Aqua Fish smartphone will run Sailfish 2.0 out of the box, becoming the first device in the world to do so. The company is eyeing a November 2015 launch for this device.

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This is the newest chapter in the fascinating journey of Jolla, a Finnish company that has embarked on a journey to create its own unique mobile operating system. It all started with the company’s association with Nokia’s MeeGo devices; Nokia’s decision to partner with Microsoft instead left Jolla stranded. Undeterred by Nokia’s decision, Jolla set out to create its own path in 2011 driven by ‘open’ innovation. By 2013 the company launched the Jolla phone in Finland that was powered by its operating system – Sailfish. 16 software releases and 35 countries later, Jolla is no longer just a cool idea. Jolla first unveiled Sailfish 2.0 at the Mobile World Congress Barcelona where it also showed off its new tablet. The tablet won the ‘Best tablet’ award at the MWC. It is expected to debut in August, the same time existing Jolla smartphone users will have the option of moving to Sailfish 2.0. One of the major selling points of Sailfish is its ability to run Android Apps thanks to its interoperability. This is in addition to apps available on the Sailfish store.

We got the first glimpses of Sailfish 2.0 on a test device at the MWC Shanghai and were very impressed. The Swipe-driven UI (From all four directions) ensures an extremely fast interaction with your smartphone while the live multitasking experience gives this OS an edge. We also liked the minimalist interface and the range of customisations that actually allow users to create their own personalised experience. Aside from the personalisation, Sailfish 2.0’s flexibility allows handset manufactures to create region-specific experiences and partner with local content providers. The keyless interface is driven completely by gestures. Snapdeal, who are partnering with Jolla and Intex in India believe that this UI is more mobile shopping friendly.

Sanjay Kalirona, head of Intex’s Mobile Business confirmed that the Aqua Fish will be priced under Rs 10,000. The company did not share any other specifications for the device at the MWC Shanghai. India is one of the key markets on Jolla’s radar. Antti Saarino, the Executive Chairman of Jolla confirmed that the BRICS markets will continue to be the focus for Jolla and expects Sailfish 2.0’s next stop to be Russia. With Apple’s iOS and Android dominating the smartphone space (and Windows a distant third), there’s clearly room for another Mobile Operating system. Jolla’s Sailfish certainly has the potential but will need more partnerships like Intex to make serious headway.