Finnish handset maker Jolla has partnered exclusively with 3 Hong Kong, the mobile unit of Hutchison Telecom, to launch its new smartphone in Hong Kong.
Speaking at the launch, Antti Saarnio, chairman of Jolla, said 3 HK is the first Asian mobile operator to launch the smartphone, which runs on Jolla’s own Sailfish operating system that the company touted as the third alternative to Apple’s iOS and Android dominating the smartphone market.
“Hong Kong is a trendsetter in mobile…. Hong Kong consumers are more willing to try new things. I am excited about this, and we can be the new [OS for Hong Kong consumers],” Saarnio told reporters at the launch yesterday.
He said the company is also looking to forge a wider alliance with Hutchison across the telco’s 3 brand mobile network operations in Europe and Asia.
One of the selling points of the smartphone is Jolla’s button-less, gesture-based user interface and its removable back cover, called “The Other Half”, which the company believes may appeal to young tech-savvy Asian consumers. The Jolla smartphone supports Android applications as well as intuitive Sailfish OS apps. It has a dual core processor, 16GB memory (expandable with microSD), an 8 megapixel camera and 4.5-inch display.
The smartphone is available for free with one of the operator’s 4G LTE super plans priced from HK$168 ($22)/month (28-month service contract) to HK$598/month (24-month contract), or costs $2,888 unsubsidized on 3 HK website.