After first teasing its plans to build a new smartphone and MeeGo-based operating system way back in July 2012, Jolla officially released its Sailfish OS handset to the public earlier this month. The company still has more distribution plans to follow through with, including availability in the shops of Finnish carrier DNA in December, but Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki has revealed that that's not the only way that he and his firm plan to build market share for its platform.
Speaking to Finnish publication Talouselämä, Pienimäki revealed that Jolla plans to allow users to install its Sailfish OS onto existing Android hardware. One of the main features of Sailfish is its Android app compatibility, which allows users to run apps built for Google's platform on Sailfish-powered hardware. The Jolla exec says that it's "fairly easy" to install Sailfish on Android devices and that he sees that as an opportunity to grow the platform's distribution.
"There is no such culture in these parts of the world [Finland], but there are people that are installing new operating systems on their devices," Pienimäki said, going on to claim that about half of smartphone buyers in China are upgrading their older Android hardware with newer versions of the OS. He then explained that since those users already have experience installing OSes, Jolla just needs to get Sailfish onto the websites that distribute that software and ensure that it will run on different types of Android devices.
There are still a lot of details about Jolla's plans that are up in the air, including the way that it can actually make money from Sailfish. Pienimäki acknowledged that he won't make money from selling Sailfish and named "applications, services or advertising" as possible ways to bring in revenue.
Obviously Jolla, Sailfish and the company's plans for growth are still in the early stages, but the possibility of being able to load the Sailfish OS onto existing Android hardware sounds pretty interesting. One of the things that Android is known for is its community of hackers and tinkerers, and I'm sure that if Jolla were to make Sailfish available for installation onto some current Android products, several members of that community would give Jolla's platform a chance. Would you install Sailfish OS onto your Android phone if you had the opportunity?