Ever since Jolla introduced itself in mid-2012, the company has been working on its own mobile hardware powered by its own mobile OS. Today, though, that’s changing.
Jolla has announced that it’s splitting itself into two companies: one that will focus on software and one that’ll be all hardware. The part that’s still going to be Jolla will work on Sailfish OS, the company’s own MeeGo-based operating system. Meanwhile, a new as-yet-unnamed company will take the reins on Jolla’s hardware business. The devices company will be announced after this summer.
Antti Saarnio, Chairman of the Board for Jolla and the new head of Jolla the software company, had this to say about today’s news:
“Every young company has to find its clear focus at some time, and for Jolla that time is now. We have huge opportunities in the Sailfish OS licensing business, and I am very proud and excited to take responsibility of steering the Jolla ship to a new commercial phase. After three years of intensive Sailfish OS research & development we are now moving full speed to new bigger waters, which requires full focus on software from the team.”
Saarnio went on to say that there is demand for Jolla devices and that, looking ahead, the new hardware company will focus on “security-enhanced devices.”
Saarnio also address the Jolla Tablet, which Jolla recently completed an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for. Saarnio says that the Sailfish software is “in good shape,” but that supply issues for hardware components are delaying shipments of the Jolla Tablet. It’s expected that the problems will be resolved “very soon.”
Finally, Jolla says that Tomi Pienimäki, former Jolla CEO, has taken another position outside the company. He’ll move to that job in August.
This is big news from Jolla. On the software side, Jolla says that it’s going to work on “licensing and development” of Sailfish OS, meaning that it’s going to continue improving the software and possibly license it out. It’s not clear which company might take a chance on adopting Sailfish OS for its devices, but it’s one more option for hardware makers looking for software.
Meanwhile, Jolla’s hardware business is going to work on new security-focused devices, and it’ll be interesting to see what it comes up with. The Jolla Tablet is a clean, attractive piece of kit, and the Jolla smartphone offered a unique feature called The Other Half, which allows users to change the rear cover on their phone to fit their mood. When a new The Other Half is attached, the look of the software on the phone changes too. Perhaps we’ll see improved versions of The Other Half in future products?