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The Finnish smartphone maker Jolla is all prepared to launch their second handset in India running the new Sailfish OS, which is customized for the 4G feature phones. At the MWC 2018 tech show in Barcelona, Jolla announced the launch of the Sailfish 3 OS with support for 4G feature phones. Jolla will also extend its downloadable version of the Sailfish 3 platform called Sailfish X for the smartphone users.
According to a report by Economic Times, the feature phone idea has come to them via a customer case from India, states the CEO Sami Pienimaki. The OS is ready and they are waiting to take a plunge into the market operation. If Jolla announces a 4G compatible feature phone in the country, then it will directly compete with the Reliance JioPhone, which is dominating this particular market segment. The report states that the company is in the phase of finalizing their negotiations with a large telecom operator and an OEM as well to bring a 4G feature phone to India.
Recent media reports have tipped that the shipments of feature phones have more than doubled from 18 to 19 million in the last year to 40 million this year. JioPhone is the first-of-its-kind feature phone supporting 4G connectivity in India. The device gained a lot of success as the telco introduced the Rs. 49 monthly recharge plan for the JioPhone users.
In addition to the Reliance JioPhone, Nokia Mobile's feature phones have also been quite popular with a sales figure of 20.7 million units. Other companies dominating the feature phone market are Samsung with a market share of 15% in the last quarter of 2017. Trailing behind these companies are Micromax and itel.
JioPhone runs KaiOS, which supports Facebook and Google Assistant. Lately, there were reports that a version of WhatsApp for KaiOS is in the making. On the other hand, the Jolla feature phone runs Sailfish OS. Peinimaki also made it clear that they will not launch an Android Go smartphone as it will force users to use the Google services even if they really don't want them.
Currently, Sailfish OS supports Qualcomm's 2015 mobile platform, Spreadtrum and MediaTek chipsets. Though MediaTek does not have a solution for the 4G feature phones, the low-end smartphone processors from the chip maker can be customized for the 4G feature phones, the report adds.
Apart from India, Jolla is also considering to expand its presence into other Asian markets such as Thailand. The OS is already sold in some parts of European Union.