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“Alternative” mobile operating systems are hard to come by these days, and in fact, after the predictable death of Firefox OS and painful Windows Mobile demise, Jolla might be correct to market Sailfish 3 as the “only” possible Android and iOS substitute available in various parts of the world.
Technically, there’s also Tizen, which coincidentally reached its third generation as well last year, but Samsung never gave its in-house platform a fair chance. Founded way back in 2011 by a group of former Nokia employees who wanted to continue the heritage of MeeGo, another defunct OS, Jolla initially tried its hand at both software and hardware.
The focus is now entirely on making Sailfish OS better for “over a dozen mobile devices” from licensing partners including Sony. As part of the Japanese OEM’s Open Device Program, the brand new Xperia XA2 will soon join the ancient Xperia X in supporting the latest Sailfish software distribution.
The crowdfunded Gemini PDA from Planet Computers, which has already started shipping to early Indiegogo backers, is another “cool” product with official Sailfish OS support on the way. The “next generation mobile PDA” is being showcased at MWC 2018 in Barcelona with Sailfish OS installed alongside Android, while a tablet manufactured by Russian brand INOI is targeted at local corporate customers with just the “alternative” operating system in tow and both 8 and 10-inch sizes.
But Jolla has its sights set on supporting wearables and even feature phones in addition to smartphones and tablets. The “new era of highly capable 4G feature phones” also starts at MWC 2018, although the attention-grabbing Nokia 8110 Reloaded actually runs something called Smart Feature OS. Still, Sailfish is very much alive, hoping to ultimately break into the mainstream.