Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

David Talbot

A View from David Talbot

Severed from Nokia, Ex-Employees Launch Bifurcated Smartphone

Jolla Mobile, formed by Nokia refugees, launches a phone with interchangable back panels and the Sailfish OS.

  • May 21, 2013

Almost one year after Nokia’s bloodletting, in which it cut 10,000 jobs and closed research and manufacturing facilities (see “Nokia Forced to Take Drastic Measures”), we’re starting to see new fruits of the startup culture that rose from the wreckage.

Jolla Mobile's New Phone

TodayᅠJolla Mobile, a Helsinki startup led by former Nokia employees, launched a smartphone whose major distinguishing feature is that breaks in half like an Oreo. The front side holds the usual computing guts and the screen. The back panel can bereplaced new ones reprogram the phone for different roles (such as business versus personal) or to add a wireless charging pad. The company is counting on app writers to think up new uses for the back-panel swap-out. It can change “colors, fonts, tones, profiles, functionalities all will adapt just as you wish by simply uniting the halves,” the company says.

Nokia had cut 3,700 jobs in Finland but helped ex-employees launch at least 200 startups, including Jolla Mobile. The phone runs on an all-new operating system called Sailfish, an evolved version of Nokia’s original mobile OS, MeeGo. (MeeGo was shelved after Nokia embraced Microsoft and its Windows Phone operating system.).ᅠBut Sailfish bears some similarities to Windows Phone, including square panels on the home screen that show applications such as news, weather, or e-mail. You can see more here.

Last year the prime minister, Jyrki Katainen, said such startups are a “lifeline to the future” for Finland. Of course, for Jolla Mobile to fulfill that promise, it will need the usual things to get off the ground, such as interesting new apps.ᅠAnd customers. If enough of the latter sign up, the company might start manufacturing the phone later this year, and selling it for close to $500.

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.

Subscribe today
More from Connectivity

What it means to be constantly connected with each other and vast sources of information.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Online Only.
  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.