Can #Jolla Succeed? My View

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As someone who adored the Nokia N9, I guess i am a prime candidate to be one of the ones who want to go onto use a Jolla Sailfish phone. Today being “Jolla Love Day” I thought it a good time to share my views on what the plucky Finnish company are doing, and whether or not I am hoping to get one.

If you are not familiar with Jolla, they are a company who formed when Nokia ended development on MeeGo Harmattan, a number of the staff who worked on MeeGo, who didn’t stay on at Nokia formed Jolla to continue working on the platform, under the name Sailfish.

Now this has produced a lot of interest, as the N9, the only device officially launched running MeeGo Harmattan had a lot of fans, me being one of them, and many were disappointed to hear Nokia wouldn’t be continuing with development.

I do find something a little irritating about Jolla though. I am sure they are doing great work, but I can’t help feeling like they are living off the interest and success of another manufacturers device. If there is one thing worse than resting on your laurels it is resting on someone else’s.

I have heard/read interviews with certain members of Jolla and the impression I get is that they feel like they are saviours of the brilliant Harmattan platform, however, from the stories I have heard they are actually the reason it never survived.

Delays in production and development of the N9 meant that a phone which would have been on the cutting edge of the smartphone world had it been released on time, actually came out with out of date hardware, and buggy software.

And production time of the Jolla handsets seem fairly slow as well. I don’t doubt they are doing their best, but this started in March 2011, and according to their own website they are only aiming “to ship by the end of 2013”. Jolla are giving prospective customers the opportunity to pre-order a device by paying €100 up front. To me a worrying sign the company is running out of money.

You may have seen the recent hands on video posted on Nokia Innovation (see it here) where we see a few new features compared to what had previously just been seen on the N950, running on its own hardware. What we see looks good, but I wonder how much more work is needed on the software.

So, am I hoping to get one? Honestly, it is still too early to say. And after 18 months of development it is not a good sign that I can say that.

Having just watched the live stream (see it replayed here) I think they can be incredibly proud of their achievements so far. However, we didn’t see CEO Marc Dillon use the device live, so I imagine there are still a lot of creases which need ironing out, not unusual for something which is still up to 7 months from actually launching.

I hate to be so negitive about Jolla, and the Sailfish OS, but after all the negitivity poured on Nokia for ceasing their development of MeeGo Harmattan, perhaps this is a sign of what Stephen Elop meant when he said “MeeGo could not quickly enough deliver us a range of solutions across price points.”

I will end this post by sincerely wishing Jolla luck with Sailfish, and congratulating them on what they have so far achieved, I am also interested to hear what you think of Jolla, Sailfish and their chances of success in what is already a very competitive market. Also I’d like to point out that this post is my personal opinion, I know the other writers here on Nokia Innovation have their own views on how Jolla will fair (Andy Hagon being one).

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