Finnish tech group Jolla, a team of entrepreneurial ex-Nokia software developers, announced on Wednesday, November 19th that it was planning to launch a crowd-sourced tablet computer. Jolla’s announcement comes just a day after Nokia announced the return of its once iconic consumer brand by entering the hyper-competitive tablet market (Nokia’s tablet is Android based.).
Jolla is a combination of several former members of Nokia’s MeeGo software team that was shuttered following the Finnish firm’s switch to Microsoft’s Windows Phone software in 2011. Jolla released its inaugural smartphone in the second half of 2013.
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Jolla’s new tablet, scheduled for launch in the second quarter of 2015, will run on the firm’s open operating system called Sailfish 2.0, largely based on MeeGo.
Jolla plans to make a deal with a subcontractor to manufacture its tablet, as it does for its smartphones. Early crowdfunding contributors will be able to buy the tablet for $189, the firm said.
Highly successful crowdfunding round
Jolla is developing a solid following among tech cognoscenti. Just a few hours after its new tablet announcement, the project had raised more than $500,000 on crowd-funding platform Indiegogo. The was originally just seeking $380,000.
Details on Jolla tablet
The new Wi-Fi tablet’s 7.85-inch screen has an impressive resolution of 2048 by 1536 pixels, and is powered by a stable, mid-range 1.8 GHz quad-core processor from Intel. The device offers 2GB of RAM and 32GB of integrated storage that can be expanded with a microSD card slot. It also offers a 5-megapixel rear facing camera and a 2-megapixel front camera. The device weighs a mere 384 grams and is 8.3 millimeters thick.
Statement from Jolla management
“We are an operating system company, and this is a tablet to our fans,” Jolla’s board chairman Antti Saarnio noted in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat newspaper’s online edition.
“We believe that there is demand for this, and even though there are more than 400 Android tablets in the world there are no open-source Sailfish tablets. So this is something different from everything else,” said Taru Aalto, sales director at Jolla during the launch event at the Slush startup conference in Helsinki on Wednesday.