Jolla crowdfunds tablet in a couple of hours

Jolla, the Finnish outfit that launched a smartphone based on its Sailfish OS a year ago, started a crowdfunding campaign for its first tablet on Wednesday – and surpassed its goal in a couple of hours.

Granted, it wasn’t the highest of goals — $380,000 – but the achievement is nothing to be sneezed at. At the time of writing, they’ve almost hit $500,000 and they still have three weeks to go.

The gesture-centric and Android-compatible Sailfish OS is based on MeeGo, the Linux-based operating system that [company]Nokia[/company] and [company]Intel[/company] were once working on together, but which was dropped after Nokia opted instead for [company]Microsoft[/company]’s Windows Phone system (a decision that was a precursor to Microsoft’s eventual purchase of Nokia’s handset unit.) Indeed, Jolla was set up by ex-Nokians.

The plans for the Jolla Tablet were unveiled at the Slush Festival in Helsinki, a day after Nokia itself announced its shock return to consumer electronics with the Android-powered N1 tablet.

While Jolla intends for its community to have a lot of input into the development process, the hardware itself appears to be nailed down already: 1.8GHz quad-core Intel processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 7.9-inch 2048×1536 display and five-megapixel camera. Indeed, as Jolla expects to start shipping in Q2 2015, the hardware must already be sorted out.

Apart from the slower processor and lower camera resolution, this sounds a lot like Nokia’s N1. It’s cheaper, though — the thousand people who managed to get into the first crowdfunding batch will get their Jolla tablet for $189, the second thousand will get theirs for $199, and the next two thousand will get theirs for $204.

“Crowdsourcing has been the foundation of so many amazing, inspiring and independent products, and what it stands for taps directly into Jolla’s ethos,” Jolla COO and co-founder Marc Dillon said in a statement. “We have a strong worldwide community supporting us, and we want to give people the opportunity to contribute early and take part in the Jolla Tablet campaign. By contributing you also have the opportunity to have your say in the actual development of the product.”

It’s unlikely to rival the iPad mini in terms of sales, but Jolla has gathered a dedicated following and it’s hard to fault their pro-privacy stance — they refuse to monitor use or sell on customer data — and their general pluck. Here’s the pitch video: