back to article Rogue Nokia splinter cell drops its Jolla phone A-BOMB

Smartphone upstart Jolla - founded by a bunch of ex-Nokia engineers - has finally unveiled a device. The gadget's technical details are few and far between at this moment. The handset itself won't be available until the end of the year, but anyone willing to plonk down €100 can get get in line early for the €399 phone and bag …

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  1. ArmyCrow
    Linux

    Mmm...

    ... I'm sure looking forward to getting my hands on all that storage space.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Mmm...

      16GB ?

      My old 20 quid tesco pay-as-you-go cheapie came with 4gig. 16 gig is hardly impressive by comparison.

      1. Dave 15

        Re: Mmm...

        don't get fooled by numbers games, My PC has stacks and stacks and runs like a dog because it has a load of MS crap plastered all over it. My older machine has less crap but also less memory and does far more far quicker.

        16gb is more than enough... my first 'real' machine had 512K - yes K, and the biggest hard drive you could buy at any affordable price - 32M - yes M (most folk had a 20mb)

        I have placed my order and look forward to the arrival, I am also looking at the case and wondering whether there is money to be made in making a case with a chip and some good apps and things... remember the old clip on cases Nokias had - how well they sold on every street market... now imagine that but BETTER :) :)

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Mmm...

          Dave, fair points, and I still have a couple of 20Mb hard disks at home! And I remember paying over £300 a while back for a 64Mb memory card!

          My point was more that 16Gb is hardly much of a technological step.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is even more DOA than Blackberry 10.....

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Hmmm, are you sure? It depends on how big they are and how much they've sunk into the hardware side of things. Mind you, the phone hardware world is coalescing on them all being pretty much the same, so building any decent quality hardware is probably more of a marketing choice rather than an engineering challenge.

      If they're small (=cheap), enthusiastic and talented and get the balance of the software just right so as to appeal to the talented enthusiast pro or amateur they could (in their terms) do very nicely indeed. You don't have to become Apple big if your investors aren't expecting or demanding that. The problem with being Apple-sized is that its way too easy to shrink by frightening amounts, just like is happening to Apple now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        maybe not DOA, but certainly insignificant...

        for every geek/nerd/tech-head/early adopter/<insert your own tag here> who's thinking of getting one of these there'll be 99 ordinary punters who'll be going "meh".

        1. Dave 15

          Re: maybe not DOA, but certainly insignificant...

          What makes you think that? The cover thing is cool and with a few little chinese companies and market stalls thinking they can make a buck or two there will be a supply of interesting add ons.

          As for the OS - no one really gives a toss, they'll see Android compatible and be happy if they believe the rest of the phone is good looking enough.

        2. tim333

          Re: maybe not DOA, but certainly insignificant...

          Well maybe - maybe not. I've not actually played with one but looking at the video it looks to me to be the first phone to actually move the state of phone os development ahead of iOS. When the iphone came out it was way ahead of existing phones, then Android / Blackberry 10 / Phone 8 were kind of catch up efforts to try to keep up with Apple. As an iphone user this is the first thing I've seen that looks a clear step forward from current Apple tech.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This should make the 0.02% market share of Google Chrome Books look like a hot product...

      1. Dave 15

        we will see...

        I think your commenting here as descended to a new low of argumentative stupid statement for the sake of it.

      2. David Hicks

        @AC

        The samsung chromebook is the number one laptop/notebook at amazon.com and number 3 at amazon.co.uk

        It's not exactly the exmplar of failure you seem to think.

    3. Dave 15

      And your reason for that?

      I love peoples off the cuff comments which are not backed up by any argument - lucid or otherwise. Why is it dead? It has a very interesting fun feature which is unique, it works with the apps which most people now want, it looks good, the price is fine... now, just what was it we were supposed to laugh at as we zipped off to buy yet another Samsung imitation iPhone?

  3. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    Ota tuo, vihreä robotti Google!

    (Take that, green Google robot!).

    About time. Now, methinks, Nokia might just - just - regret letting go of expensive (read: highly talented) engineers.

    Jolla - being Finnish for dinghy, which you'd be glad of, had you been thrown off a burning platform by a Canadian may well add to Nokia's woes.

    I think Flop is even now consulting his mentors in Redmond, to see if they can somehow "do a 'Sendo' "on it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft isn't worried...

      I predict a little conversation along the lines of "That's a nice little smartphone company you've got there, it would be a shame if anything were to happen to it..." soon after the first model starts to ship.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft isn't worried...

        Except that Jolla has been in discussions with Nokia since the early stages.

        Also, shortly before Jolla appeared, Elop said there was no plan B but the chairman of the board said there was a plan B. So the board knows more then Elop and the chairman will not elaborate on what plan B.

        1. Dave 15

          Re: Microsoft isn't worried...

          Plan B has got to be the only one that could succeed and probably includes some gardening tuition for Elop (I certainly hope so)

          1. Jemma Silver badge

            Re: Microsoft isn't worried...

            You mean on how to dig a 7ft x 6ft hole? Cos thats what Elop Bey deserves.

    2. Finnish Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ota tuo, vihreä robotti Google!

      Fascinating to find something written in finnish here. But, I have to slightly correct both the headline and the translation. It should be, in my opinion, "Ota turpaas, sä vihree Google-robotti" (that was approximately how it should be said in my local dialect) / "Take that, [you] green Google robot!". [you] is strongly implied in my native language, and quite often also written or said too. Although, it is also very often replaced with a four-letter or seven-letter word beginning with f.

      Going to pre-order a Jolla.

      1. Heikki Härkönen

        Re: Ota tuo, vihreä robotti Google!

        Actually, "Täältä pesee, googlen vihreä robotti" would be more accurate translation.

        Like with "take that", "täältä pesee" is more general threat not stating outright that there will be a serving of knuckle sandwiches and a boast of ones manpower, a claim that whatever is coming, there will be plenty more to follow.

        And for googlen vihreä robotti, im guessing the original was green robot of Google. There is no typo there, it is googlen, not Googlen. When stating ownership the name is written with g, not G.

        As for actual phone, I can't wait to have one as for phones, that is closest one can get to nerdgasm these days. Rare with one of a kind feature, built from ground up to take maximum out of hardware.

    3. julianh72
      Linux

      Re: Ota tuo, vihreä robotti Google!

      "Ota tuo, vihreä robotti Google"?

      Wouldn't "Ota se, Microsoft ja Nokia!" be more appropriate?

    4. N13L5
      Pint

      Would be hilarious if Jolla becomes bigger than Nokia in a few years

      If Nokia hold on to Elop / Winblows much longer, it might happen!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Would be hilarious if Jolla becomes bigger than Nokia in a few years

        Windows / Lumia sales are increasing rapidly so it seem unlikely that Nokia would invest in another flavour of recycled UNIX...

        1. Dave 15

          Re: Would be hilarious if Jolla becomes bigger than Nokia in a few years

          What, 5million a quarter, the burning platform was managing 30million a quarter in a smaller market

          Nokia aren't totally dead yet but they are so far back in the race that it seems unlikely that they will again rise beyond tail end charlies. Don't forget that many of their 'smart phone' sales aren't actually smartphones - they reclassified some oft he old s40 phones (which definitely aren't windows phone, aren't smart etc etc) as 'smart phones' so their sales figures wouldn't look the disaster they are!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          unlikely that Nokia would invest in another flavour

          Except for their Asha line, in which they invested in Smarterphone, and still use S40 to some degree. Is Symbian still outselling Windows Phone?

          1. Dave 15

            Re: unlikely that Nokia would invest in another flavour

            Symbian no longer outsells windows phone - mainly though because Nokia aren't making them. In total units shipped it will be a few decades before windows overtakes Symbian.

          2. Dave 15

            Re: unlikely that Nokia would invest in another flavour

            Asha is S40, nothing else.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Would be hilarious if Jolla becomes bigger than Nokia in a few years

          Define rapidly. You also cannot use the growth percentage to make a point. Example, I sell one unit. When I sell a second unit I had a 100% increase in sales. So, if I sold one unit in 2012 and 10 in 2013, I saw 1,000% increase in sales. Selling 10 handsets though is an utter failure though.

          Symbian sold more an a single year than WP has ever sold.

    5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Ota tuo, vihreä robotti Google!

      While I agree that Nokia was dumb to let these guys go... I don't think it was a bad idea.

      Considering the fact that Nokia has enough cash that they could buy out this company and take the device and run with it... It let these guys alone and design in peace.

      That may seem like a weird concept, but it really does make sense the more you think about it.

      These guys can develop a phone unmolested by pointy haired managers.

      Nokia can cozy up to Microsoft's teat, and get needed cash.

      The guys who create the phone take all the risk and Nokia doesn't have any risk of devising a new platform.

      Those guys who built it will make a shit load of cash for their risk when they sell out. (If they sell out.)

      Just food for thought....

      1. Dave 15

        Re: Ota tuo, vihreä robotti Google!

        It is a risk, if the product is a success and it is a largely private concern it may well be that Nokia can't buy it. I certainly wouldn't sell a successful phone manufacturing company to them... I might well wait a few years and buy Nokia just for the pleasure of sacking Elop and the board that supports him.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    End of year?

    Wake me up then.

    Sounds a bit like Applesque. Version 9S is coming sometime in the year 2017. Please pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-pre order yours for $100.

    In the fast changing landscape of mobiles, its a bit premature to announce a handset and get people excited about an untried and untested hardware/software, despite the pedigree of engineers.

    Who would want to tie up 100 bucks till December?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: End of year?

      Who would want to tie up 100 bucks till December?

      This was the easiest €100 I've spent for some time - can't wait for this to come to market.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: End of year?

        Well Kickstarter/IndieGogo projects ask for funds up front, it is becoming more common.

        (Other give people money websites also available)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: End of year?

      Untried software? Hmm, it is based off f MeeGo which is tested. WP was untested, Android was untested, iOS was untested.

      The handset will be released by the end of 2013. Which means it could be tomorrow, or it could be December 31st.

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Article

    "The cyan clip-on bit is the "other half" of the handset: a swappable section with its own memory storage and it can change the interface or add content to the phone - a bit like a removable SD card only bigger, brighter and more proprietary."

    Ah, good old days! I use to work for a mobile company back in 2003 where we were working on similar idea. The company had called the technology "smart skin": http://www.wildseed.com and http://www.wildseed.com/bananna2.jpg :)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a bit like a removable SD card only bigger, brighter and more proprietary

    I don't believe Jolla announced that the add-on cover will be large removable media, maybe an NFC tag and that's it

  8. GregC
    Happy

    I wish them well

    They might be small, and they definitely have one hell of a mountain to climb, but we need another phone OS (or 2) that doesn't lock you into the manufacturers garden. Plus I have a soft spot for Maemo, as it was then, from my N900 owning days.

    Only thing is, in one of the shots I've seen elsewhere there was a hint of a fairly tile-esque UI. I'm hoping that's not going to be the case, I really don't like the whole tile metaphor in the world of MS and I'd be disappointed to see it appear here.

    1. Charlie van Becelaere
      Pint

      Re: I wish them well

      I hear there is a skunkworks project at IBM working on a port of OS/2 Warp for the mobile market.

      Certainly I'm not the only one waiting breathlessly for this!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wish them well

      The UI is similar to that of Swype used in MeeGo. The open application screen is a miniature version of the current app screen. They are in a tile format not not like WP.

  9. James 51 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Bought a 9320 after my N900 started to go. Had assumed that my next phone would be a Z10 or a Q10. That might not be the case now. Not willing (or able) to pay a vapourware deposit now but my interest has been piqued.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      I like the Z10, I have one. If you want to write one's own software its a fairly good place to be.

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    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Why the down vote? Re: Good Luck!

      Sometimes I fail to see why people down vote a comment ... I Have to scratch my head and wonder WTF?

      I think it was a good idea for these guys to go off and make the phone. Seems some of the Silicon Valley attitude is leaking out on to the world.

      I wish them luck because they're taking all of the risks.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Good Luck!

      Agreed with Eadon. I've even sent my 100 Euro to show my hope they will do well.

  12. Piloti

    N9 Meego....

    I have an N9 and am very, very happy with it. The only thing I want it to do that I'm not able to is Viber or Whatsapp. And that is only because the 'phone came before the software. Not the phones fault really. Everything else works like a dream, including Skype and GTalk.

    Jolla ? Will certainly consider when it comes to new device time.....

    1. ScissorHands
      Linux

      Re: N9 Meego....

      You're stuffed about Viber, but there's an unofficial Whatsapp client for the N9 called Wazzap that works like a charm (while eating battery by the spadeful).

    2. Zola
      Thumb Up

      Re: N9 Meego....

      The only thing I want it to do that I'm not able to is Viber or Whatsapp.

      Regarding WhatsApp, try downloading the N9 version from openwhatsapp.org - not tried it myself (don't know anyone with WhatsApp), I just know it's there and assuming it works it might help you.

      1. Bad Beaver
        Go

        Re: N9 Meego....

        Wazapp works fine – until the folks at Whatsapp mess things up on purpose, then you sometimes have to wait a little for an update. There are some motivated folks working on it and they deserve a little tip for that every now and then. Anyhow, talk.maemo.org is your friend.

    3. captain veg

      Re: N9 Meego....

      Another happy N9-er here. More of the same, with memory card slot and 4G? Oh yes.

      Just sent off my 100 E's.

      -A.

  13. elreg1990
    Facepalm

    Maybe its improved...

    I went to a bunch of talks about Sailfish and Mer at FOSDEM this year and wasnt too impressed.

    Thier "SDK" was doing all sorts of total nonsense like having thier emulator, inside a linux virtualbox, speak to a qt creator plugin, on the windows host, via a shared folder. WHY. Of course this totally robust creation failed, the emulator was slow, the SDKs autocomplete and designer didnt work, and thier dev was unable to actually demo anything.

    Maybe its improved... They guys did seem enthusiastic and I could tell they did actually want this to succeed, as as a QT developer I wouldalso love to see it being used more for precicely this.

  14. Bad Beaver
    Go

    Looking forward to it

    My N9 is doing fine but I might just preorder this. Been following Jolla for a while and watched the live stream. These folks deserve some success for their enthusiasm and BALLS to pull this thing through alone, even before seeing that the expandable hardware idea is pretty nifty in and by itself (check your facts, El Reg, the covers supposedly can do more than just be a memory card). Could not care less about specs with this OS running on the device.

  15. TeeCee Gold badge
    WTF?

    Oh really?

    ....like a removable SD card only bigger, brighter and more proprietary.

    Well that sounds like the most stupid idea of all time. Pay for proprietary memory cards and need a bag to carry 'em in? Yeah.......right.

    You'd have to be a right drooling OS fanboi to even think about getting something hamstrung like that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh really?

      Well that sounds like the most stupid idea of all time. Pay for proprietary memory cards and need a bag to carry 'em in? Yeah.......right.

      Don't think the back panel is just a "memory card" (after all there is a comment that the phone has a microSD slot). Sounds like its more of a mechanism to "upgrade" the phone. I..e you buy the 16GB model and after a bit decide you really need more storage (and microSD won't do for this) then at the moment you'd have to buy an entire new phone - with this you might be able to just buy a 32GB back plate. Similarily someone else has commented that back plates with better quality cameras might be an option. Sounds like a good idea in theory but whether it will ever work in practice is another question (operators won't like it as its a way of delaying switching to a new phone/contract) ... after all, haven't people been talking about having upgradable laptops for years (e.g. swicthable graphics modules) and that hasn't exactly taken off.

      1. S4qFBxkFFg
        Go

        Re: Oh really?

        Upgradeable phones - I would love this to happen; I don't know if we'll ever get to the stage where it's as easy to customise as ATX, but we can hope.

        I have actually seen easily upgradeable laptops - when I did some work experience at IBM in 1997 (I think) they were all over the place - release and flip up the keyboard, pull out hard drive (no screws or catches there, the keyboard held everything down), slot a new one in. It was easier than changing a phone SD card now and it applied to more components than the hard drive; can't remember what though.

    2. Dave 15

      Re: Oh really?

      The idea is sound.

      Plenty of people bought new covers for their old Nokia phones - customising the outside of the phone for themselves. Indeed Sendo made quite a business out of having a stock phone with covers they supplied to allow them to sell phones to clubs like ManU. This is a clip on cover that goes a bit further. So now not only do you have a cover with your favourite football teams colours, but maybe a 'favourite' plugged into their website, maybe even a password to access games or live feeds.... all sorts of possibilities are bought forward.

      Yes, you could do it another way, but this way is a brilliant idea as not everyones granny is tech literate.

  16. wowfood
    Trollface

    Looking at

    the number of people saying they'd preorder the phone in this comment section, Jolla has already sold more units than winPhone. Nokia must be shitting themselves :P

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It always amazes me how these small start ups can do a decent industrial design, producing a nice looking phone. Yet the likes of Samsung and HTC can't, probably because they use a "design committee" where everyone throws in their idea on what they want changing, instead of trusting the designer.

    1. Charles Calthrop
      Thumb Down

      it always amazes me that the htc one is beautiful and the one in this article is ugly.

      Oh look, I can masquerade my opinions as facts, too.

  18. Zola
    Go

    Expandable case design

    Jolla have hinted that hardware such as better camera flashes could be included in the "other half" case so - user upgradeable phones? A case with a nice, powerful Xenon camera flash rather than the puny LED built-in? Maybe a hardware keyboard? Imagination is the only limit. Sounds very interesting to me.

    1. Stuart Castle

      Re: Expandable case design

      Imagination and profitability..

      I've seen some amazing ideas for interfaces on computers, giving rise to all sorts of expansion ideas. None of which came to pass because the interface was proprietary and the host platform was not profitable. The problem with relying on proprietary interfaces like that is if you buy a device that does, and the company manufacturing it stops (for whatever reason), then you are usually screwed as far as further expansion goes.

      Open standards, such as USB, Bluetooth and SD cards (Micro, Mini or whatever) have their faults, but you can guarantee that even if the manufacturer of your phone goes tits up, someone will still be manufacturing peripherals you can use with them.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Stuart Ball

    Rolling upgrade

    If the phone comes in two halves, you could end up with a rolling upgrade "programme" whereby the front and backs are upgreadeable independently, so if you splash for the uber spec camera, you can upgrade the front processing unit & screen as and when you can afford it.

    Interesting concepts.

    1. djack
      Thumb Up

      Re: Rolling upgrade

      Indeed. I am hoping that they will be able to produce a keyboard as an 'other half'.

      Finally, something that looks like it could be an available successor to the N900 :)

      They have my 100 Euro

      1. Dave 15

        Re: Rolling upgrade

        Have already asked for the specs for the back bit to see about providing such things as keyboard and camera upgrades...

        I think the idea will catch on.

    2. Paul 75

      Re: Rolling upgrade

      Well, yes and no, the main issue I can see with that is that you are tied to the same form factor - if you make your device any larger or smaller, then presumably you will have issues attaching the two halves.

  20. gerryg
    Thumb Up

    this could make me give up my 5800

    N900 - had one of those - great computer, great screen, great apps, too bulky, shite battery life - went back to my 5800 - still amazing after all these years

    Oh to get back to a phone you own rather than one you share with the OS provider; my €100 is creeping towards the website

  21. Paul 75

    I wonder whether it will be able to run any of the QT apps already in the app-store-formerly-known-as-ovi?

  22. Herby Silver badge

    Another thought...

    Maybe these guys are developing a version of their OS that WILL work on Nokia phones. They already know the hardware, so it won't be that difficult.

    They could offer an "UPDATE" to the silly WP8 Nokia thing that Microsoft likes to have battles in weddings about.

    Maybe this IS Nokia's "Plan B". You never know.

    1. Down not across Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Another thought...

      "Maybe this IS Nokia's "Plan B". You never know."

      It certainly would seem plausible. What's the best way to have a Plan B that can't be mucked with.. spin it off to entirely different company.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been done, almost

    The problem I see with this device is that it's basically the same spec as the Blackberry Z10, right down to being able to run Android applications. The add on back is the novelty but nobody knows if that will be popular or not. Will it get so much geek love that it becomes a big success, or will it fade away as another good idea without enough cold hard cash behind it?

    I always admire people who manage to achieve something like this, and I hope it eats into Android market share. But not Windows or BB10, because we've seen duoculture in the desktop market and it wasn't pretty. A variety of platforms with application interchangeability would keep the whole thing interesting and mean that the corporate drones can't so easily do backroom deals to ensure that progress happens at a carefully managed rate.

    The risk for Jolla, though, is surely that Microsoft will extort - sorry, politely request - a licensing fee in case someone has infringed a patent that they can't quite remember just at the moment but are sure is in there somewhere. Perhaps the one on rectangles on a computer screen that act as a kind of "window" showing the running state of a program?

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