After a few months of relative silence and vagueness, we’re finally getting something tangible from Jolla, the promising mobile phone company which came forth from former Nokia employees. It’s ambitious – they’re not just going to create a mobile operating system, not just a mobile phone, but an entire ecosystem, including cloud services and data centres. At its heart? The beautiful city of Hong Kong. The prime target market? China.
The men and women behind Jolla are smart people. While they clearly plan to sell worldwide, focus will be on China first. Considering China’s huge growth potential, that’s a smart move; it’s easier to attract first-time smartphone buyers than it is to convince iOS or Android users to switch. Hong Kong is a perfect centre of operations in that regard.
“Jolla is setting up a new ecosystem by forming an alliance in Hong Kong together with the leading players in the industry,” the Jolla press release states, “The new fully productised mobile operating system, based on MeeGo and codenamed ‘Sailfish’, will be ready for licensing by other device manufacturers, design houses and service companies in spring 2013. Sailfish builds on and contributes to existing open source projects such as the Qt Project and Mer Core, and due to those roots the new OS will be open to community involvement and participation.”
Jolla’s partners have committed to an investment of â‚¬200 million, but as the alliance expands, this figure will grow. As is standard practice by now, Jolla focuses on more than smartphones alone, also looking at tablets, televisions, automotive, and other devices.
I can’t put into words just how excited I am about Jolla. I’m getting the idea that Jolla will become what Nokia would’ve been had it not opted to go with Microsoft instead. Let’s hope they don’t screw this up.