Startup Jolla Revives MeeGo in China
The new OS, codenamed "Sailfish," will be ready for licensing in Spring 2013. The OS is based on MeeGo and builds on the work of existing open-source projects including the Qt Project and Mer Core. Sailfish is designed to support smartphones, set-top boxes, TVs and tablets.
Jolla CEO Jussi Hurmola told Light Reading Mobile that the alliance has a funding target of €200 million (US$259 million), which will be invested by members as they join the program. Some of that investment has already been committed, but Hurmola did not say how much.
Hurmola also said that the alliance will employ about 200 people in Hong Kong.
Jolla did not reveal any of the alliance's members, but said that the group will comprise chipset vendors, device original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), mobile operators and retailers. The company already has a partnership with China's largest mobile phone retailer, called D.Phone Group.
So why did Jolla choose China as the place to launch an alternative OS?
"The needs and goals for mobile operating systems are so different globally," said Hurmola. "Ecosystems and platforms are used differently in Asia. We don't want to fragment this ecosystem."
Hurmola explained that Jolla plans to launch a similar alliance for the "global" market, but he declined to specify where it will be located and which countries will be targeted.
As for the smartphones based on the new OS that Jolla plans to introduce by the end of this year, Hurmola said that the company will decide the launch date for those devices later this week.
Why this matters
Founded by a group of former Nokia employees, Jolla is an important startup to watch because of its potential to challenge the dominance of Apple and Android. And today's news shows how the startup is aiming to avoid the pitfalls of OS fragmentation by setting up regional alliances to target specific markets.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile