It started with the MeeGo OS that Nokia developed but then eventually scrapped when they decided to go with Windows Phone. In 2011 some ex-Nokia employees saw an opportunity and Jolla was born. Development of a new OS started for the mobile market called Sailfish. With more than a 10 million euros in funding the start of the company looked good, and do not forget the recognition they got in 2013 when they were chosen for the Millennium Distinction Award.
In 2013 Jolla launched their first device, the Jolla smartphone which was eventually sold only in the tens of thousands world wide. The Finnish mobile operator DNA was the first one selling the phone here in Finland. Expectations were to sell the smartphone in the hundreds of thousands. This never happened, sadly. Finnish media praised it and the international tech media not so much. You can still buy the Jolla phone from their own webstore for the price of 199 €.
In the end of 2014 they announced their second device, the Jolla tablet, which was crowedfunded through Indiegogo and the interest for the device was in thousands. First devices were supposed to be delivered to the “early birds” in May 2015, but the first batch of 121 devices were delivered first in October 2015. In the last half of 2015 Jolla bumped into serious financial difficulties and their existence is still hanging in a thread.
Now Jolla worte in their official blog “Jolla tablet: Aiming for closure” that they will only deliver 540 more units (that’s in total then of 661 units) to the early bird Indiegogo supporters. The rest will get their money back, one half in Q1/2016 and the second half, if financial situation of Jolla allows it, sometime next year. This is again sad news.
From now on Jolla will concentrate on the development of the Sailfish OS and has licensed it already to the Indian company Intex. Hopefully something will be announced in February at the Mobile World Congress.
Even though I am an Microsoftie, I would have hoped real success to Jolla from early on, cause in these difficult times in the Finnish economy, we need success stories – a few new “Nokia’s”.
For Jolla I hope the very best and to rise again to new heights, just keep the strategy clear and the spirits up and you will come back even stronger. Remember the Finnish “sisu” and you make it happen 🙂
P.S. I hope the Finnish based social computer company Solu will not bump to same type of problems. They have already announced delays in their deliveries to their Indiegogo supporters. It has not gained that much interest world wide as it should have.