Jolla, the smartphone operating system developer founded by refugees from Nokia, has announced the release of 1.0 of its Sailfish operating system, which will be available worldwide in March.
The release follows the sale of Jolla smartphones via Finnish mobile operator DNA, as well as direct to enthusiasts, in November last year. Those devices sported the beta version, which has been updated three times already - the fourth, in March, will represent the 1.0 version.
Sailfish is based on Meego, a Linux-based operating system first developed within Nokia, but discarded in 2011 when CEO Stephen Elop chose to focus the company's smartphone resources on Microsoft Windows Phone.
"We're very excited to announce this. We've been working hard together with our user community to make the user experience of the Jolla smartphone and Sailfish OS effortless and distinct. We believe that Jolla now offers a truly viable option for all smartphone users.
"Naturally we are not stopping here, as we continue to provide monthly software updates to Jolla devices and Sailfish OS," said Marc Dillon, co-founder and chief operating office of Jolla.
Sailfish claims to be a "gesture-based mobile operating system" that supports both native Sailfish applications, as well as Android apps.
"Customers are now able to install their preferred Android app store, and choose from hundreds of thousands of available Android applications. In addition, the active and passionate Sailfish OS community has already developed major social media applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and Foursquare, natively to the Sailfish OS," said Dillon.
Jolla smartphones can be bought via the Jolla online shop for €399 and direct from Finnish operator DNA. The company expects to expand its sales channels this year, and is negotiating with partners in Russia, India and Hong Kong where Jolla will open online sales in the near future.
Negotiations with retailers and operators in several European countries are also under way.