Licensing Jolla Sailfish OS: Potential Partners

We have all heard that aside from developing their own handset, Jolla are actively seeking partnerships with handset manufacturers to license their Sailfish OS to in early 2013, but who are the most likely manufacturers that Jolla might team up with ?

I have put out thoughts before on this but feel perhaps a post to keep all the information and discussion in one place could be useful.

Potential Manufacturer Partnerships for Licensing Sailfish OS:

  • NOKIA: A clear favourite for me, Nokia who already have many connections with Jolla and a partnership like this would provide Nokia and customers with some continuity (albeit slightly delayed) following on from their release of the MeeGo based Nokia N9.   This partnership makes sense on so many different levels for both companies, but only time will tell as to whether Nokia have the capital needed or indeed inclination to start a new partnership with a new line of smartphones.   The beauty for Nokia would be the lack of ongoing investment required for running the software side of things which would be handled by Jolla.  The advantage for Jolla would be the presence of a large handset manufacturer from their homeland spreading the Sailfish OS to a far greater audience.
  • SAMSUNG:   The pure muscle of Samsung is a force to be reckoned with although their partnership on the MeeGo based Tizen project could provide some conflict here unless they decided to combine forces.   Their presence in the Far East would no doubt help with Jolla’s Far East strategy, but whether they are the right fit for the Sailfish OS is arguable.  Samsung are certainly a force to be reckoned with and a partnership with Jolla would raise the status of the Sailfish OS without doubt.
  • ZTE: This Chinese-based company have recently moved to the 4th largest smartphone maker in the world haven’t you heard.  They experienced the fastest growth after Apple this year and are becoming a force to be reckoned with.  Does their placement in the Far East make them an ideal candidate to license the Sailfish OS for the growing Chinese smartphone market ?
  • HUAWEI:   Many commentators suggest that the likes of Huawei (pronounced: WHO-ARE-WE ) will be the next big thing in the mobile phone world.  Like ZTE, relatively cheap handsets conceived in the Far East for the mass consumer, this company is aggressively seeking new OS partnerships having already teamed up with Windows Phone and Android.   They are however working on another OS of their own so whether or not there is room for another OS partnership is questionable?
  • HTC:  Another handset manufacturer who have struggled in recent times, HTC have already partnered with Windows Phone and Android.   Again, the question here is, do they have room for another OS ?
  • SONY: Having been through various transitions and changes to the company over the years, Sony who are now predominantly Android-based could well be in the market for taking on another OS.
  • MOTOROLA:  Having been bought by Google now, Motorola are an unlikely candidate but cannot be ruled out entirely as Google will be looking to make a success with them anyway they can.
  • BLACKBERRY:  Another unlikely candidate, Blackberry are currently working on their own brand new OS in the hope that it will bring the Canadian-based company back to its former glory.  There isn’t much room for Blackberry here and they are not known for working with other OS’s.
  • APPLE: 100% unlikely
  • OTHERS:   Large PC and electronic manufacturers such as ASUS, HP, DELL, ACER, Phillips and Panasonic have all made recent inroads into the Smartphone market with Android and WebOS based handsets.  Any one or more of these companies may be looking for a fresh approach to succeed in the crowded smartphone market and could potentially provide a mutually beneficial partnership for Jolla.

Do you have any specific manufacturer that you think Jolla would do well to license the Sailfish OS to – maybe I’ve forgotten someone obvious?   Like Google’s strategy with Android, the more manufacturers onboard, the merrier as they say – the more Sailfish can get ‘out there’, the more the chance of its rapid success.

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  1. hi, i think that sony would be the optimal partner for jolla. Sony has tv, and consolle (ps3 and psp). jolla, with a new and lunux-based and open-source os, has, virtually, the os of the future. Sony could start an important and interesting project with jolla os, such as windows with win phone xbox and pc, or better, like apple or best of both. In fact jolla could develop a new os that will run on psp, ps3 (or future ps4) and on pc tv and so on. Jolla, with an os like maemo or meego, could be, in few years, the best project much better than android or ios.

    p.s. i apologize for my bed english, but i hope that my idea is clear. regards

    • I understand 100% and yes I can see the attraction with Sony – it could represent an all-encompassing experience if the OS is adapted beyond the smartphone form which I believe is the plan. :-)

    • if u make jolla’s phone compatible with Playstation 3 :: you will do very good thing..
      i love my sony items.. but i hate only one aspect of sony the SOFTWAR!!!!!
      PS3 software make me crezy sometimes, so if u enter with sony u can do benefit for sony

  2. I preferred Nokia still after all what it done. Nokia only one company the was deeply involved/supported open source as no one else. But if that not the case now on…my second choice ….. it should be something “new”. Company that known in the world of technology but hasn’t been involved in mobile industry as much as those like Samsung, LG or even Sony. Im thinking about Sharp. Sharp has great technology and could be a potential candidate. And it would be great challenge for them get in to world mobile industry globally. I came across recently what Sharp achieved in Asia (Japan) and been impressed with hardware that Sharp produced in recent years (check SH-06D NERV) . And sadly (at least for me) there all runs Android (

  3. I believe a ZTE or Huawei would be a good partner. People have this perception of lower quality products from china but so far from what I’ve seen, the mid range and high end phones from these companies exceptionally made (i.e. Honor, Ascend P1 etc) I think Jolla needs a partner which will stick to them for the long haul and someone who wants to put a dent in the smartphone market. Reputation is not everything because reputation can be destroyed overnight. Even if Jolla decides to go with a lesser known company, I will not discredit the product because of its brand. In the end of the day, if the product is good people will buy.

  4. Even if Sony might be hungry for a new OS and also might have the bucks to get things going I’m not sure if I like how the company has behaved historically. I am thinking about their DRM hysteria and the way they jail their products to the end users. A really bad gut feeling.

    Asus is a company that to me seems to go just straight up, in many different segments. They are also strong into the tablet business and might be a good choice for pushing Sailfish into the tablet range.

    Samsung, well I’m not sure if I like them too much eithe,r even if they sure would benefit from standing out of the droid franchise and at the same time getting away from the Apple lawsuits raining over them once and for all. But, I have never liked the Samsung hardware concepts, they’re usually kind of limited feature wise (like apple in a way). Look at the Samsung tab’s for instance, how did they get so popular among the droid tablets?

  5. Think of Acer/Alibaba who recently were vetoed by Google to do a customized Android device. Basicly any party who wants more freedom to do a customized device that does not fit in the constraints of the owner of the current ecosystems.

  6. i say NOKIA
    like Jolla explain, nokia is lesser far than others..
    and MeeGo by Nokia involve in Sailfish by Jolla, so is obvious for me, jolla have built meego harmattan, jolla keep it updates ( no more .. -_- sob ) .. so nobody like Nokia can be easy and fast union

  7. but I want to clarify one thing, I possess N9 because a year ago I started looking for a smartphone Nokia. Nokia direct because in the past I have always used Nokia.
    For the quality strengh signal antenna’s for the impact resistence and for a good and clear OS ( mind at 3330-3310).
    So if i mind a mobile phone i start with nokia; like in consolle if i look for consolle i start with sony
    or if i want learning hacks and tweaks with PC i will choose Linux

  8. Nokia for hardware and a solid phone and bang-olufsen for music/speakers and video :D erm a bit out there but i was gonna say Nintendo just for innovation, just look at the original game boy, 3dS and wii U coming out!

  9. Sharp is very close to being bankrupt. I agree, some of the Japanese firms could be good. Also NCC Docomo was long a Symbian partner and would have vast resources.

    Nintendo is in deepest trouble atm regarding ecosystem support. There is a huge mental barrier to overcome since they have always used their own software & ecosystem. They will for sure need partners.

    some of the tv manufacturers are teaming up to have a common system to compete with android camp. Eventhough Mer is mobile core, it could be good for smart tvs? Coupled with Qt ecosystem.

  10. My guess would be one of the Chinese companies. The China market is huge and local companies are looking for an edge over the likes of Apple and Samsung.

  11. I don’t believe Sailfish OS can find its glory in OEM who haven’t succeed with Android or other options.. It’s necessary to have partners who are already growing or have a certain presence in the market. Most of all it would be interesting to show off some brand new products on the market with the contribution of world famous brands. One i was lately thinking about is Swatch!
    I’ll find very fancy and full of potentials a Swatch branded smartphone powered by Jolla, don’t you? A cool, fully colored, modern, young-minded, multi-tasking, social oriented Swatch phone.
    I’m sure it would be a hit !

    • The biggest potential may not be OEMs directly, but eg Chinese social network companies and search engines (Baidu et al). They have the same incentive as Facebook to intorduce own device, could speed up delivery with Sailfish and are more or less competitors to Google and MS. If Jolla can eg. integrate their services into the device efficiently, there is big potential.

  12. I would love for you guys to partner up with HTC! I am an absolute fan of HTC’s beautiful hardware. With your Sailboat OS, it will be the perfect combination and become THE killer phone to beat!

    • sorry but NOKIA -> phone factory
      1865 -> nokia have been passed 147 years more than HTC that is borned in 1997
      and if u let me, 147 years of experience in GSM communications, in antennas building, in software technology and hardware compactness

      sorry but HTC is younger than Nokia
      and i always bought nokia phone and i never had problem about signal
      in mountain area and in underground-parking area
      a phone must be phone first of all… and how u can see on Apple, the first iPhone made antennas signal very weakness
      then i prefer nokia to others brands only cause Nokia have experience and i prefer “made in Finland” that “made in Taiwan”
      no offense anybody and without being racist

      • No offence taken. I was just voicing out my preference to have a HTC x Sailboat combination above all else. And I still do.

        I respect your opinion and preference to Nokia but having many years of experience does not make the them the best in the industry.

        Better yet, it would be make everyone happy if Sailboat is licensed to more than one manufacturer…which I think will happen.

        • I believe that HTC would be more probable than Nokia as a partner. At least as long as Elop in is charge since it would be huge psychological barrier to overcome.

          I’ve never owned HTC devices and cannot say about their harware quality. If Ive understood right, just like Nokia HTC does not manufacture components by themselves. Lumia 800 showed that with proper industrial design also a ODM such as Compal can reach good quality. Those felt almost as good as the N9s coming from Salo. It is completely another matter how much can Jolla really influence physical design.
          – Their resources are limited. Although there can be people from Nokia design for instance.
          – They have limited time to use. If the UI and OS is more or less ready, they cannot wait end 2013
          – Their finances and volumes are limited, which IMO does not allow too much choise in design since adjusting manufacturing facilities, suppliers consulting type of design and quality&durability testing cost for completely new materials and form factors are not cheap.

  13. After all this talk to license Sailfish OS to several OEM’s it makes me wonder. How are you planning to prevent fragmentation similar to what has happened to android? The whole android ecosystem is a huge mess nowadays.

    • There is no power in the world that would prevent os fragmentation when it succeed. All systems are fragmented. The old hardware is not able to execute modern version of software. New software is not supporting old hardware. Some companies try to sell fairy tales that their systems is not fragmented (apple, ms).

  14. Nokia won’t be a partner as they’re devoted to Microsoft… we’re not even sure they will still exist in the mid term.

    ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo… that makes sense.