Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Once-Promising Finnish Mobile Upstart Jolla Is Having Some Hard Times

Via Business Insider:

Jolla is on the ropes. The Finnish company, founded by former Nokia staff of the Meego project back in 2011, launched a smartphone featuring Sailfish OS in 2013 to positive reviews, but has had problems finding steady ground ever since.

The company led a successful crowdfunding campaign, raising $2.5 million from 21.633 backers, for the development of Jolla Tablet in December 2014. However, very few devices ended up being built and shipped to end users.

After multiple issues with production, the company stated in late 2015 that due to lack of necessary components that are no longer available the Jolla Tablet was being discontinued with remaining backers getting a full refund.

In July 2015, Jolla announced it was spinning off the device business in order to focus on development and licensing of Sailfish OS. Additionally, some unexpected delays with a financing round temporarily put the entire company in jeopardy, forcing it to furlough roughly half of staff towards the end of the year.

A last hurrah?

Jolla was buoyed though 2016 by a collaboration with Intex Technologies, India's second largest phone maker. The collaboration resulted in the release of the Intex Aqua Fish smartphone. According to a report in Kauppalehti, however, it appears the contract has run out and the companies are no longer working together.

Having failed as a mass market hardware vendor, all hope for Jolla now rests on its software division and Sailfish OS. Jolla successfully raised $12 million in capital as recently as May 2016, so it may have enough capital to sustain operations for quite some time, but finding a new partner remains vital for long term viability.

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