Former employees from Nokia's MeeGo N9 organization have formed an independent smartphone product company called Jolla Oy (Helsinki, Finland). The company has announced a sales and distribution agreement with D.Phone Group, the largest chain of mobile phone shops in China. Jolla said the companies have agreed targets for sales volume in China's 150 million unit per year smartphone market.
N9 is a smartphone from Nokia that runs the MeeGo operating system but Nokia announced in 2011 it was dropping MeeGo to focus on the Windows Phone operating system from Microsoft. MeeGo is a Linux-based open source mobile operating system targeted at a range of mobile devices.
Jolla, which means dinghy in Finnish, plans to design, develop and sell MeeGo-derived smartphones. The company has said it was formed in 2011, has investors and partners and has been developing a smartphone to be launched later in 2012. The operating system has evolved from MeeGo using technologies called Mer Core and Qt and will include in innovative user interface, the company said.
The company name could be a reference to the occasion in February 2011 when Nokia CEO Stephen Elop likened Nokia to a burning oil platform that would force workers to jump into the sea.
Jolla's senior executives are CEO Jussi Hurmola, chairman Antti Saarnio Sami Pienimaki, vice president of sales and business development; Stefano Mosconi, chief information officer and chief operating officer Marc Dillon.
"Nokia created something wonderful – the world's best smartphone product. It deserves to be continued, and we will do that together with all the bright and gifted people contributing to the MeeGo success story," said Jussi Hurmola, in a statement.
The company has about 50 employees and received help from Nokia as part of redundancy support program to form the company, according to reports.