Yotaphone just ditched Android for Sailfish. Wait, what?

  • AFP
  • Updated: Jul 04, 2015 12:23 IST

Russian manufacturer Yota, well known for its Yotaphone dual screen phones, has announced that its next devices will no longer operate using Android but Sailfish, an alternative developed by former Nokia engineers at Jolla.

This is a huge win for Jolla, as the Finnish company beat out Samsung and its Tizen platform to score the Russian smartphone contract.

Sailfish is at its core a derivative of Meego, the former Nokia OS that was eventually abandoned for the Windows Phone. In theory, most Android applications would be compatible with this system.

For the moment, Yota has not confirmed if Sailfish will also be integrated into the Yotaphone 2, which is currently on the market, or if it is only intended for upcoming models.

Yota sets itself apart from the competition with its dual screen phones, including one with electronic ink which gives it a battery life that can reach 100 hours. It offers up to 16 levels of grey, has widgets for stocks, weather and social networks, and acts as an e-reader. The first Yotaphone debuted at CES in Las Vegas back in 2013, and the Yotaphone 2 currently retails for €599 in Europe.

Besides Yota, there are several manufacturers slowly breaking away from Android, such as Samsung with Tizen, or Huawei, which is releasing its own operating system. Finally, other free alternative systems are trying to break through, like Firefox OS (by Mozilla) and Ubuntu Touch (Canonical).

According to IDC, Android and iOS together control more than 96% of the global smartphone market.

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