Also in today's EMEA roundup: Rostelecom sees profits slip; BT lands pharmaceuticals IP Connect gig; Austrians and their apps.
Jolla , the Finnish handset vendor set up by former Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) staffers, has announced that the first production batch of its phones, which are based on the Sailfish operating system, has been "fully booked by consumers and selected sales channels." Sailfish is a development of MeeGo, the Linux-based OS that was scrapped by Nokia as it decided to go down the Windows Phone OS route. Jolla says the phones will begin shipping in Europe by the end of the year. (See Euronews: Jolla Unveils First Smartphone, 5 Challengers to Apple & Android, and Jolla to Take on Apple & Android With OS Launch.)
Russian operator Rostelecom saw its second-quarter profits fall 3 percent year-on-year to 7.3 billion roubles (US$221 million), a slip it attributed to a number of factors, including the cost of building up its 3G network and a difference in the way in which its investments in Svyazinvest are reported. (See Euronews: Rostelecom Sharpens Mobile Focus.)
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has landed a five-year contract with Phoenix, a European pharmaceutical wholesaler, to connect company sites in 23 countries through its IP Connect service. The project will link Phoenix's datacenters in Nuremberg, Germany, with its subsidiaries across Europe. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
Apps are on the march in Austria: A survey carried out for Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) subsidiary A1 found that half of all the country's smartphone users are now making use of the apps available to them, a doubling of the numbers since 2011. Facebook and Whatsapp were the two most highly prized timewasters.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading