Finnish firm to create software and licensing unit and smartphone and tablet manufacturing business
Finnish smartphone manufacturer Jolla is to split into two units; one devoted to the licensing and development of its Sailfish OS and another focused on making devices.
Jolla, which released its first smartphone in 2013 and is currently working on its first tablet, opened up Sailfish OS, formed from the ashes of Nokia’s abandoned MeeGo software, at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 in Barcelona earlier this year.
The company has insisted its position as the dominant player in the Sailfish ecosystem has not discouraged other manufacturers from using the platform, with co-founder Marc Dillion telling TechWeekEurope it simply wanted to showcase the potential of the OS without dominating the agenda like Google does with Android.
CEO Tomi Pienimäki will leave his position as part of the restructuring, with chairman of the board Anti Saarnio taking charge of the software business, which will be known as ‘Jolla Ltd’. The devices company will be announced later this summer and a new chief will be found.
“Every young company has to find its clear focus at some time, and for Jolla that time is now,” said Saarnio. “We have huge opportunities in the Sailfish OS licensing business, and I am very proud and excited to take responsibility of steering the Jolla ship to a new commercial phase.
“After three years of intensive Sailfish OS research & development we are now moving full speed to new bigger waters, which requires full focus on software from the team.
“We have already proven that there is demand for unlike Jolla devices in the market and we continue to see good opportunities for it. We have now decided to continue the Jolla devices business under a new company, focusing on security enhanced devices.”
One of the biggest supporters of Sailfish is the Russian government which is using the open source platform to create a national mobile operating system in order for the country to reduce its reliance on foreign software like iOS and Android, which account for 95 percent of all smartphones in Russia.
Saarnio also gave a progress report on the Jolla Tablet, promising it will be in the hands of Indiegogo backers as soon as possible.
“The software part of the work is in good shape but we have been slowed down by supply issues of certain hardware components,” he explained. “We expect to solve this issue very soon.”
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