Jolla seeks African Sailfish partners following Namibia market entry

Jolla, a start-up Finnish smartphone maker, expanded into Africa through a deal to supply Namibian operator TN Mobile through third-party distributor LexConsult.

The company's smartphones will be available exclusively through TN Mobile retail outlets from Mar. 28, priced at NAD5,200 (€399/$433). A range of 'smart' covers that imbibe the smartphone with functions including preset colours and fonts are priced at NAD300 each.

The TN Mobile deal opens a new market for the company's Sailfish operating system, which Jolla is working to establish as a credible alternative to market leading platforms iOS and Android.

Sami Pienimäki, Jolla co-founder and CMO, said the company will offer Namibians "a unique smartphone user experience" with an operating system that includes compatibility for Android applications and focuses heavily on privacy. "Jolla does not sell user data," Pienimäki said.

The potential of Sailfish as a disruptor in the mobile OS space was what attracted TN Mobile to Jolla, said Armando Perny, mobile chief officer at the mobile operator's parent company Telecom Namibia. The device, along with "TN Mobile's 4G LTE network" enables the operator to "offer an unrivalled mobile experience to all Namibians."

Jolla is using its Namibian debut to seek potential Sailfish development partners in Africa for a programme announced early March that aims to speed development of the platform.

The Finnish company launched the Sailfish OS Alliance during the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, when it announced Snapdeal.com--India's largest e-commerce marketplace--as the first partner on the scheme.

During the event, Jolla chairman and co-founder Antti Saarnio told FierceWireless:Europe that a key point of differentiation between Sailfish and Android is that Jolla offers a dedicated space on its user interface for its partners to highlight their own services. Saarnio also said Google's platform is "contractually limited" compared to the "independent, open" Sailfish platform.

For more:
- see Jolla's announcement [PDF]

Related Articles:
Jolla signs first Sailfish Alliance partner, as it seeks device OEMs
Nokia, Jolla and Yota bring device innovation closer to home
CCS Insight: Tablets set to see a revival in fortunes after sluggish 2014
Jolla plans spec upgrades for crowd-funded Tablet as contributions soar
Jolla sees Sailfish transcending smartphones

Suggested Articles

Moving subscribers to 5G networks will help carriers manage network traffic, but they can't do it until customers buy 5G-ready smartphones.

The adoption of consumer eSIM services/devices remains low, despite major hype.

Wireless operators can provide 5G services with spectrum bands both above and below 6 GHz—but that doesn't mean that all countries will let them.