Finnish mobile company Jolla was founded a few years ago by former Nokia executives that wanted to carry on developing a Linux-based mobile operating system after Nokia made the switch to Windows Phone software. Jolla has released several versions of its Sailfish OS since then, as well as a phone and a tablet, although the company announced earlier this year that it would get out of the hardware business and focus on licensing its software.

Now it looks like Joll has hit a rather major speed bump: the company expects to “temporarily lay off a big part of its personnel. ”

Update: Jolla has secured some additional funding and is hoping to move forward


The move comes as the company announced that it’s postponed its latest financing round and filed for a debt restructuring program.

Jolla chair Antti Saarnio says Sailfish OS is ready to license for commercial use, but that the company has spent a lot of time and money getting it to that point and that the latest moves are intended to adjust costs while the company restructures and works to tailor Sailfish for the needs of possible customers.

So far no company other than Jolla has announced plans to release a phone or tablet running Sailfish, but Saarnio says there are “several major and smaller potential clients” that have shown interest.

But while Jolla says the lay offs that will begin in December are temporary, these things have a way of becoming permanent: if the company’s efforts to work with third-party hardware makers don’t pan out, it’s not clear if Jolla will have the resources to re-hire employees in the future.


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13 replies on “Sailfish OS maker Jolla announces temporary layoffs, debt restructuring”

  1. I remember watching the launch video, and reading about the technology, where they claimed to be able to turn around a device submitted to them in 24 hours. So I’m guessing the issue is less than the software doesn’t work, and more that nobody wants to license it. Which is a shame. You don’t need to make your own hardware.

  2. Oh shit. We finally have a decent and very usable alternative system from a small European company that’s not in the hands of Microsoft, Apple or Google. I feel this has nothing to do with the quality of Sailfish nor a failure of (mostly) open-source. With the focus shifting to smaller form factors, why isn’t there more interest in a full Linux system for mobile?

    We really need something more free, open and user-controlled than what the big 3 are offering.

    1. There is. I would like to have it. But I also need a decent HW for a good price. And unfortunately Jolla was not able to offer it. They did not because of SW but because of HW.

  3. I don’t know anything about Sailfish but can it do anything besides run
    on phones and tablets? I mean are there any IO (input/output)
    capabilities that let programmers actually interact with the OS at a
    low level? QNX for BlackBerry actually has this capability but since BlackBerry close sources everything, it’s not going to ever be useful for the average person. What I’m getting at is if you can actually get an OS
    such as this to say, run a printer or vinyl plotter/cutter then you have
    an OS of value outside of phones and media consumption. If these OS’s
    can actually DO THINGS like kiosk interaction, measurement for
    instrumentation and what have you then they have value. If no, then I don’t see it ever catching on.

    1. QNX has a life outside of Blackberry, I know this as I have QNX developer license, (Not that I have ever used it, mind.) but you can get the source by buying QNX as I did. That said not too many people actually need a deterministic embedded operating system 🙂

  4. There was never any compelling reason to use Sailfish. The best excuse I can think of was that it could run android apps, but obviously, so can android.

    1. It’s not Android.
      It’s not iOS.
      It’s from the US. Edit: I meant “…NOT from the US”. 😉
      It’s Gnu/Linux (despite not yet completely open source).
      It’s actually very nice and fast.

      1. “It’s from the US.”

        No. It’s a Finnish company, made up of Nokia refugees.

        1. I think he meant to say “It’s not from the US”. Which for me is not a compelling reason, since I’m from the US.
          It really is looking like there isn’t room for a 3rd mobile OS. Windows, even with all the money and capability of Microsoft, hasn’t been able to compete.

          1. But WP is a bad OS. Jolla is good, but they don’t have decent HW. If there would be the same phones for the same prices like those with WP, Jolla would be bestseller. But they have only one overpriced model with outdated specs.

          2. I guess the word Windows or Microsoft doesn’t necessarily sell phones, so far nobody seems to be waiting for “a phone that runs Windows” (or whatever watered down ARM variant they run). But I’d really like to think that there are enough people interested in open-source or free software to make a such a phone a viable product, either because they’d like to tinker with the system themselves or because they don’t want all their data in the hands of one of those big 3 companies.

            I don’t see all that much interest from developers or freedom advocates and that is what’s confusing and disappointing me. There ought to be a large enough market for an open system, not to beat Android or iOS, but still enought critical mass to live alongside those big vendors – a bit like Firefox as independent browser.

          3. Do you know what it is that makes Windows phone/tablet suck? The interface…it’s really that simple. It it wasn’t Metro like with the garish colored and space wasting tiles, I think people would pay attention to it. I would.

            The square tile interface is the reason Windows 8, 8.1 failed on the desktop and never caught on on mobile devices. Now no one wants it regardless of what they do. Windows 10 on the desktop got a little better but they shot themselves in the foot with all the spyware. On mobile, Windows 10 still has remnants of the interface that no one likes. Ever wonder why the vast majority of Windows users wants to stay on 7?

            If they simply changed the interface, ditched the kiddy colors and put little circular icons back like everyone else does, I bet you people would start to give Windows a chance.

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