Finnish smartphone company Jolla has announced it will no longer be developing hardware. Instead the company will focus on developing and licensing the Sailfish operating system.

Jolla says a new company will be established to take over the device business, but it sounds like Jolla is more interested in licensing its software to hardware companies moving forward then in developing its own hardware.

jolla tablet_02

Jolla was founded by former Nokia employees interested in continuing to develop the Meego operating system Nokia dumped when that company started using Windows Phone software for its smartphones. Sailfish was based on Meego, but introduced a new user interface, support for running Android apps, and other new features.

The first device to ship with Sailfish was the Jolla smartphone, and the company has a tablet in the works as well. Jolla says it hopes to deliver the tablet to backers of its crowdfunding campaign soon.

While Jolla will focus on software rather than hardware moving forward, what remains to be seen is how much demand there is for the Sailfish operating system in a space that’s currently dominated by Android, iOS, and to a lesser extent, Windows Phone and BlackBerry software. Other alternate smartphone operating systems such as Tizen, Ubuntu, and Firefox OS have emerged in recent years, but they each have a pretty tiny market share at this point.

There were reports making the rounds last week that the Russian company Yota Devices would be using Sailfish instead of Android on upcoming phones. But those reports were inaccurate at best: while it appears Yota is at least looking at the possibility of offering a Sailfish version of its phones in Russia, the Yotaphone 2 and future products from the company are expected to ship with Android in most parts of the world.


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18 replies on “Jolla shifts efforts to Sailfish OS, exits smartphone hardware business”

  1. I hope the new company is able to design good hardware. Their first tablet and phone were pretty nice. Hopefully Jolla will be able to license its OS to other manufacturers. It might be smart to separate their software and hardware to avoid competing with other companies and looking like it has an unfair advantage in software/hardware integration.

    Hopefully Jolla is able to do well and does not disappear. I think it would be beneficial if Android is taken down a few notches. It’s not healthy to have 1 OS dominating everything.

  2. I think most posters shows they are not familiar and unaware of real situation. Jolla has been invited to develop and allow to use Sailfish as official system OS for BRICS countries (China, Russia, Brasil, India, South Africa) which are about 40% of human population. Russian gov invited Jolla to cooperation for this purposes with Russian corps and specialists – are you aware Russian have one of best IT population and community, besides of hackers? Jolla as 200 ppl organisation developing Sailfish is not enough to work with all new tasks. So Jolla is growing and just have made a huge progress. A new company will also prevent from mistakes known from Nokia where internal conflicts, lobbying, rivalisation for resources and simply politic has killed efficiency. Also worldwide operation with selling Sailfish smartphone and tablet requires adequate organisation, skills, resources, infrastructure, etc.etc.. Jolla core business is sailing to continuous Sailfish development and licensing, this also must manageable and effective. This shows Jolla with creating a new company is selecting and put in appropriate order its activities. This also shows Jolla is the firs so successful Linux project, exactly Linux MeeGo Sailfish OS project. No customers are left, nor services for its devices – this is pure speculations and not any true IMHO. There is progress but you see collapsing – if this is not a bed will then it is simply unawareness. Think it over.
    BTW Yota has declared YotaPhone 2 and YotaPhone 3 will be Sailfish devices.

    1. So, I’m in Finland; I’ve got an N9 (now defunct), a Jolla phone and soon a Jolla tablet. It’s not clear to me how I will buy a new Sailfish device if mine dies. I understand the concerns of a small (mostly software) company having to compete on all fronts, but they might be shooting themselves in the foot if they don’t find a loyal hardware partner soon. Having to hack an Android device is not a viable selling point.

    2. And Google Project Ara will be open for other OS as well!
      Google Project Ara,Phonebloks and other modular phones should bve a huge market for alternative OS than only Android.

  3. Jolla remains loyal to existing phone and future tablet customers (a new company will be created, same people remain I think), and why would they start licensing out Sailfish OS if there was no interest? Think about it ;P

  4. its purdy, no doubt. but its also dead in the water. i can’t imagine that there is really any room for anything other than iOS, android, and windows.

    1. Nokia also thought it will rule in phones market forever, but in the reality nothing is everlasting.
      The same history may repeat in near future with those OSes’ domination.

  5. No way, another failed Linux project!

    It’s so sad to see Linux people time after time thinking they too will be relevant someday.

    1. While not GNU/Linux, Android is doing fairly okay, for a linux project.

          1. In spirit does not equal spiritual. Some phones are more closed than others. Especially if you care about who owns your data, or about if you can access the underlying system and make changes easily.

  6. Not a good idea. What if there won’t be sufficiently open candidates to be used as host systems? Jolla is painting itself in a corner here. Nobody was expecting the latest and greatest hardware from a company as small as Jolla, but now they better make sure their system runs on any phone at all…

  7. This is sad. I can’t imagine Sailfish catching on anywhere at this point, and it was pretty much the last reasonable hope for someone to carry on the Maemo legacy. (I know Tizen is another descendant, but my impression is that it’s headed away from the openness that made Maemo special.) I suppose now that Ubuntu phone is the nearest thing there is to hope for a Linux-y and fully open mobile platform.

    1. Just contrary – Sailfish continues Maemo and MeeGo legacy, while Ubuntu wants to be another Windows-like OS but in Linux world, what makes it much less attractive for common user.

  8. looks like Jolla is abandoning their customers who bought their phone and never even supplied replacement batteries, why buy the tablet? and those who hoped for a Jolla phone 2 will be out of luck,

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