Former Nokia (NOK) Engineers Look to Take Out Android with New Platform (GOOG)

December 28, 2012 9:39 AM EST
Few would question Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) dominance in the smartphone market with its Android platform, as hundreds of thousands of Android-based devices are activated on a daily basis.

But, that doesn't mean challengers aren't plotting ways to unseat the search giant.

Today's news comes from a months-old story about a handful of former Nokia (NYSE: NOK) engineers. The group, led by Jussi Hurmola and co-founder Sami Pienimaki, hopes to release an operating system based on Nokia's abandoned MeeGo effort. The company is named Jolla and operating system is Sailfish.

The company has a total of 50 workers now, having picked-off some good talent as Nokia downsized. It's headquarters is in Hong Kong, with operations also in Finland.

Sailfish will be an open-source platform much like Android, said Pienimaki. He notes that it will also have some proprietary elements as well.

Jolla hopes to make money via the launch of a higher-end smartphone in first-quarter 2013 as well as from licensing fees. Pienimaki told the WSJ that "Sailfish can also be used on set-top boxes, smart TVs and in the automotive industry."

On fundraising, Jolla said it hopes to IPO sometime in 2013.

If the world is looking for an alternative to Android, Sailfish might have a chance. Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) is releasing its BlackBerry 10 operating system at the end of January, meaning even more potential users will be sucked out of the market. There's always Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iOS to compete with as well.

As far as going to premium users first, even venerable software maker Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is having trouble in that contingent.

Click here for Jolla's website.

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