Jolla: We Are Open For Business – Actively Seeking Partners
Quotes Via: Techcrunch
We all know that as well as making their own flagship device, having recently announced their design partnership with Infinity, Jolla and the Sailfish ecosystem have always been about the openness to collaborate and pair up with manufacturing and software partners as was again made plainly clear in Jolla’s recent Techcrunch interview:
Finnish startup Jolla is open for business. That’s the message CEO Marc Dillon was putting out, loud and clear, during two on-stage appearances at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona last week. Not a bad amount of stage time for a first time MWC attendee and a mobile upstart that hasn’t sold a single handset yet because it’s still busy making its first phone.
This has always been part of Jolla’s ambitious game plan as evidenced by an early interview we conducted back in September 2012 with Jolla’s then CEO Jussi Hurmola who stated the following:
we are providing an independent alternative into which we are inviting our partners, business models and value add. We are not jealous of others using Jolla and MeeGo, and we are inviting other brands to Jolla devices.
Jolla’s intentions were made clear from the very early days and if anything the recent interview conducted with Dillon shows their appetite growing for such future partnerships:
Building Jolla-branded hardware is not its only strategy. The startup has two other business models: it wants to license the Sailfish OS to other companies to put on their own hardware; and it wants to sell its skills in device-building to companies that might want to build their own phone or device but don’t necessarily have the expertise.
As an example of the latter model, Dillon says Jolla could work with a data-rich company like Foursquare to build a Foursquare phone that bakes its social, geolocated data throughout the experience. Or with a startup like Deezer to create a branded, music-oriented phone. Jolla would be able to offer third-party companies a device that has their brand “all over it and incorporates it in a way that’s unique”, he says.
The need for such an ambitious all-encompassing approach arises from the fact Jolla and indeed many of the other handset manufacturers are up against some pretty stiff, but perhaps rapidly stagnating competition in the form of the ‘dreaded duoply’ namely: Android and Apple.
“At the moment there’s not a lot of choices for consumers in the mobile space. There’s not a great deal of innovation,” Dillon tells TechCrunch. “I think that you have this duopoly with basically two operating systems and essentially two manufacturers. There’s a lot of manufacturers in the Android space but Samsung [dominates].
“We are providing a unique product with a very fresh user interface. We’ve given a tremendous amount of thought and work into making something that’s powerful yet easy to use. And we’ve also created an operating system for our devices that’s very portable. It’s easy to put onto different hardware so we’re able to give something that will allow consumers to have another choice.”
With Jolla steering the Sailfish OS and attracting new partners on board to focus on what they do best, Jolla stand a far better chance of challenging the likes of Apple and Google. Providing network operators, manufacturers and customers alike with more options is not only necessary for diversification but also crucial for the mobile landscape to evolve and improve beyond the current stagnant duoply.
Of course challenges are always abound, but with such ambition, passion and drive, Jolla are rearing to go and prove to everyone that it can be done and with style. Regarding a Facebook phone, Dillon expresses:
What about a Facebook phone based on Sailfish? “I think if they’d have talked to us a year ago they’d have a beautiful Facebook phone today,” he says.
It’s hard to see why such a shake up of the industry hasn’t happened sooner or why perhaps any of the other earlier challengers (we all know why MeeGo failed when in Nokia’s command = stillborn) were successful.
As Jolla’s CEO, the fact is you cannot argue with Dillon’s passionate yet practical direction and this combined with a fully fledged team of technical experts rearing to propel Sailfish to infinity and beyond, it’s even harder to see how Jolla will fail with the huge (and growing daily) base support and goodwill from community, partners and the tech world already firmly behind them.