Jolla is focusing on BRICS countries, making deals with local content providers in order to offer a tailored user experience. Today’s press event showed the next step in this strategy, with the announce of mi-Fone embracing the Sailfish Africa alliance.
mi-Fone is the first Africa-based mobile devices brand founded in 2008 by Alpesh Patel, former Motorola employee; they aim to bring low-cost devices to African customers, enabling them to internet access and easier information broadcast.
The first mi-Fone device powered by Sailfish OS is expected to hit selected African markets in Q2/2016, combined with a service offering tailored for mass-market African consumers.
Antti Saarnio, Chairman of the Board of Jolla, said:
We, together with mi-Fone strongly believe that Africa needs its own mobile ecosystem where Sailfish OS can be a strong independent building block. mi-Fone as an African brand is a natural device partner for us. When we then integrate leading banks, e-commerce platforms and other services into Sailfish OS we can truly offer something meaningful for consumers.
Alpesh Patel, founder and CEO of mi-Fone commented:
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.
During the event also the Aqua Fish (which we took a look at last Monday) was announced, which is expected to be sold by April, 25th at around (as last rumors) 7000INR, coming with pre-loaded local premium content from Snapdeal e-commerce platform and Gaana music service.
Mr. Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, Mobile Business Head at Intex Technologies, commented:
Intex has always brought innovative products in every hand, and has been recognized for its contribution in democratizing smartphones. Keeping with the tradition, we are the first mobile handset brand in the world to present a licensed Sailfish OS powered smart phone to the world and for the Indian consumers. Sailfish OS is a young mobile OS; a challenger with a lot of promise. We are confident that with launch of a completely new operating system in their smartphones, our customers otherwise spoil for choices will be delighted.
Last but not least, we have some news from Fairphone, the ethical smartphone which aims to deliver an user-repairable device. Both Jolla’s and Fairphone communities has been working since autumn 2015 to port Sailfish OS to the Fairphone 2 and now, given the high interested gained, this collaboration may take the next step.
In fact, Olivier Hebert, Chief Technology Officer at Fairphone, commented:
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 into new mobile software technology and applications, while giving users the choice in the operating systems that they want to use. 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.
Currently, a survey on Fairphone’s Twitter page is going on, so we strongly suggest you to vote and make your voice to be heard!
— Fairphone (@Fairphone) 24 Febbraio 2016
Finally, we have a first hands-on of both the Intex and the Fairphone devices, brought to you by the always kind Pocketnow’s Michael Fisher: