Audio link to original interview available here: http://thevoicemail.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/interview-with-jussi-hurmola-ceo-of-jollamobile/
Okay onto some of the most interesting parts of the interview – so it seems there will
definitely hopefully be at least one handset coming in 2012:
Stefan: Yesterday TechCrunch published an article that said you want to come out with two phones. Care to comment?
Jussi: I think that was based on the interview. I was asked if we’re catering to developers or the larger public, and I said we’re definitely going for the larger public, but we also want to enable the developers and the community and enthusiasts by giving them a “developer mode” option. We want to cater to both audiences. I think this became their two devices.
I personally think that Jolla wouldn’t go far wrong if they went for an Apple-like strategy – one perfect handset every year or so – simpless. Easy for software developing, easy for everything really… the key is to get the device right 1st time and in order to offer different price points initially = 16gb, 32gb, 64gb. Then once the umbrella device has become popular and the money is flowing, distribution channels in place etc etc, other options will open up eg. cheaper, lower spec’d model or tablet etc. The key is to get the high end ‘umbrella’ model right first, then success will follow.
Stefan: Regarding the software, a lot of people have been asking will this new operating system of yours use the same Swipe UI that was on the Nokia N9?
Jussi: Swipe is a Nokia user interface. We are going to do a new user interface. Selecting MeeGo enables us to do something new. If we went with Android or something else then we would just be using the user interface it already comes with. So we will make a new user interface; of course we will inherit the familiar and powerful elements that MeeGo has, as we know it now, but we are not going to use Nokia’s user interface.
This comes as no surprise bearing in mind this recent news, and perhaps people will be a bit disappointed by the fact that the N9 Swipe UI seems to be at a dead end, but I personally believe Jolla will be working on something even better. ;-) The Harmattan UI is great, but I would love to see the implementation of more homescreens, more customizable elements (ie. themes) and actually I reckon combining the best elements from Maemo 5 and Meego would make it the best of both worlds. Remember these guys know their stuff when it comes to maemo/meego so anything’s possible!
Definitely not going Android = good in my book:
Stefan: You mentioned Android. Have you heard about companies like Xiaomi, who make their own custom Android ROM called MIUI, or how about the Amazon Kindle Fire? Why choose to go and create a brand new operating system as opposed to taking Android and skinning the top?
Jussi: Xiaomi, I know them very well. We have been going to China every month. There’s Meizu, Xiamoi, there are many people who put custom user interfaces on top of Android. It’s still a followers game. Xiamoi’s game is also based on price competiton. We want to lead in technology and lead in UI, that’s our business. We don’t want to copy them.
People need choice and although I certainly wouldn’t be against the new Jolla-inspired meego UI being able to run android apps (Openmobile’s ACL or even a dual booting Nitdroid spring to mind) – in fact I’d encourage it – lets face it that would definitely give Jolla a headstart in this game. In fact if anyone from Jolla is reading, I strongly suggest you make your UI compatible with android apps – this will save you a lot of hassle/money.
The fact is it will still be a new OS with a new UI and new hardware/aesthetic design – of course – I’m not suggesting it should only run android apps, just that it would benefit hugely complimented with the growing number of meeGo apps. Making the UI compatible with maemo 5 apps would obviously also be nice… an added bonus. I spoke with Openmobile a few months ago and from the sounds of it they are still looking at finding someone to license the MeeGo ACL from them = perfect for Jolla.
Okay that’s it for today – Pt2 to follow… thoughts, comments, debate most welcome – thanks for reading!