Letter from Jolla CEO: a strong Sailfish year ahead of us!
Ahoy all Jolla & Sailfish OS developers, fans, and followers,
A new year has again started, and moved fast to the second month. This is my first post as Jolla CEO, and I’d like to give all of you a proper update on last years’ events and what we expect for 2017. Here we go!
As a summary, the year 2016 was a good one for Sailfish OS and full of deliveries. We launched the Aqua Fish device together with Intex Technologies in India, brought the Jolla C along with the Community Device Program for our dear community, got a major deal and partner in Russia (more about it below), and started shipping with Turing Robotics. Sailfish OS 2.0 is now fully out there and making a mark to the world.
Inside the Jolla company, we’ve been working hard to stabilize our financial situation throughout 2016. We are now a slightly smaller company than before but with the stronger-than-ever Sailfish community the results have been significant: we’ve seen many new community ports, Sailfish 64 bit has progressed nicely, and we’ve got a lot of help in translating new Sailfish OS releases. Community has also done a great effort by getting the Android 6 BSP based adaptation and newer working with Sailfish OS, which helps Sailfish OS scale more easily to newer hardware. Overall there’s been a lot of contributions to the OS. A big thanks for all our active contributors, keep it up!
Five years of Jolla
Jolla turned 5 years last October. Throughout the journey we’ve experienced several ups and downs, and even after all the struggles, we are still here together with our strong community, and with new significant partners joining the Sailfish movement.
The journey we have gone through makes us very strong and puts us in a good position to pursue new opportunities. As we all realize, Sailfish OS is not about Jolla, and thus we have a great responsibility to be very focused and perform super well on chosen items, and be ready to leave some other things on the side. Jolla and Sailfish OS now have a very focused strategy, and our aim is to seriously deliver on that. Let’s talk about that.
Licensing and regional strategy carrying fruit
During 2016 we turned our business focus tightly to regional licensing and enabling digital ecosystems in emerging markets, such as the BRICS (*) countries. We have reached first milestones in carrying out this strategy, and our first concrete case is now in full swing in Russia. We have also received a lot of interest from corporate and governmental business sectors for independent and open mobile OS development projects, and for other regional licensing cases.
I’d like to clarify a few things about our Sailfish OS project in Russia. If you’re not aware of this yet, please check out our press release or this good article in Techcrunch.
Some people have asked that does this now mean that Sailfish OS will be delivering only to Russia to serve only their purpose. Well, I tell you it simply wouldn’t work like that for anybody. We’ve established a regional licensing model and now issued a license to a Russian partner to co-develop the OS together with all of us. During 2016 we have established a fully working and professional contribution model where the Russian Sailfish developers will contribute their code back to the common Sailfish OS, which Jolla maintains independently and with open access for any interested developers and parties around the world. This also means that Sailfish OS has got new a partner who invests to the development of the code, and all users of Sailfish OS will benefit of it. It is in the interest of all parties to develop and maintain compatibility of one Sailfish OS and not to create forks.
Next up: China, Latin America, Africa and Mobile World Congress!
Following the Sailfish project in Russia, we are now looking to expand our regional licensing strategy to other markets, in particular in BRICS countries. The massive China market is a key strategic opportunity for Jolla this year, which we’ll pursue strongly. Further, we can see emerging interest to Sailfish OS from various markets like Middle-East and Africa, and the Latin American markets. The political movements of the world seem to set the scene in many ways for 2017, and we expect those movements to enable further business opportunities for the only independent mobile OS, Sailfish.
Mobile World Congress, one of the most exciting and biggest events for the mobile industry is again around the corner end of this month in Barcelona. Sailfish OS will be there in collaboration with its partners, and you can expect to hear some new exciting announcements during the week.
Meet us in Barcelona! If you are planning to attend the event, please come to visit our booth and team in Hall 5 (5H19).
Tablet refunds and open sourcing
As Juhani communicated in his year-end post, we are committed to making the 2nd round of refunds for Jolla Tablet, as soon as our financial situation permits that. We’re not quite there yet but we’re working hard to improve the financial situation to enable the rest of the refunds. I know it is a lot to ask but please bear with us on this challenging journey. We now have a good outlook for the year, and wish to finalize also this project as soon as feasible.
Previously we’ve also mentioned that we’re working on the further open sourcing of Sailfish OS. We have now taken the necessary steps and preparations to enable us to further open source Sailfish code, in particular in the areas of apps and UI. We have a decision process ongoing but you should expect exciting news on this during upcoming months.
Jolla <3 Community
It’s almost a worn-out statement already but seriously: without the Sailfish community we would not be here. Our new strategy is also much dependent on you guys & gals, and thus we want to foster the ever-stronger Sailfish community. We’re planning for further Sailfish community devices and programs to empower the community and all Jolla & Sailfish fans.
Stay tuned, we hope to announce something exciting for you already in Mobile World Congress in a few weeks. Please also keep proposing new ideas to us! We promise to listen and try to turn them into plans and implementation as much as we can with our resources and in collaboration with all the Sailfish developers.
Looking forward to serve all the fans and partners of Jolla throughout 2017, and take us to new heights and success,
Co-founder & CEO
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