|Industry||Mobile devices, Consumer Electronics/Devices|
|Founded||Pirkkala, Finland (March 29, 2011 )|
|Products||Smartphones with Linux-based Sailfish OS continuing the previous work of the MeeGo project|
Jolla Oy (sometimes referred to as Jolla Ltd. or Jolla Mobile) is an independent designer and developer for various mobile devices and open Sailfish OS based on MeeGo and Mer Core open source projects. In addition to its headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, R&D sites in Helsinki and Tampere, has offices in Hong Kong and is establishing R&D operations in China mainland in order to lead the Sailfish Alliance development and ecosystem. The primary product is their Jolla smartphone, which is running the Sailfish OS based on the core distribution of the Mer project, which continues the previous work of the MeeGo project.
Jolla continues the work started first by the same group of professionals, that time Nokia employees, as the Nokia N9 team with the MeeGo version Harmattan. After Nokia, has abandoned their participation in the MeeGo project the N9 team works were slowing down and had no further future any more. Finally, directors and core professionals from Nokia's the N9 team left the company and finished forming of Jolla Oy to continue the N9's legacy.
- 1 History
- 2 Corporate affairs
- 3 Products
- 3.1 First unveiled device, the product prototype
- 3.2 Ecosystem
- 3.3 Software
- 3.4 Hardware
- 4 Terminology
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Jolla was finally formed by Sami Pienimäki, Jussi Hurmola, Marc Dillon, Stefano Mosconi, ex-Nokia employees in October 2011, using the company entity created in March 2011 which was renamed to Jolla and aimed to continuing MeeGo Linux smartphones development. NB. Pronunciation - for the benefit of people in other parts of the world the word "Jolla" is pronounced "Yolla"
Originally the MeeGo was the result of the merger of Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin projects, both Linux systems. The MeeGo as such is hosted by the Linux Foundation and no longer actively developed, however, MeeGo as open source project was forked by the community of developers (significantly motivated by Carsten Munk among the others) who reformatted the independent MER project from supporting Maemo to reconstructing MeeGo, its aims and to establish the meritocratic governance of the MER project. As the work was the continuation then previously accumulated efforts of MeeGo development were not wasted and lost.
Nokia, once the largest employer in the market, switched to using Windows Phone operating system for their phones, while being lead by Stephen Elop; and scaled back and attempted to cut costs not connected to Windows Phone. Many employees were either made redundant or left the company. Nokia's Bridge programme was established to select and support establishing new start-up companies led by former Nokia employees to help them earn a living and try to mitigate some of the bad PR Nokia was suffering because of that situation.
Jolla's leaders, with Jussi Hurmola as CEO, and Nokia have had discussions about Jolla's plans during the creation of the company under the Bridge programme. Nokia had payed employees leaving company with the amount of 25000EUR per person, but had not gifted to Jolla any rights to patents or other intellectual property for development of Jolla's future products. In the result, while the Sailfish OS and Jolla smartfone development is a direct successor of Nokia&Intel's MeeGo and the N9 mobile products, it can base only on the MeeGo open-sourced components, with the closed-source user interface design for a future devices being redeveloped from the scratch. As Jolla's Sailfish OS is based on the MeeGo API it was natural to use the Core distribution from the Mer project to develop their own system and also to contribute for the Mer project as the open source to take part in further development of the Core.
On 6 July 2012, Jolla announced it intends to develop and market new smartphones based on a Linux system with a new gesture-oriented user interface. The OS, called Sailfish, is based on MeeGo operating system, with the Mer project core. On top of hardware-dependent kernel is the OS core from the MER project. On top of the Mer core is the Qt, QML and HTML5 functionality.
The Jolla team consists of a substantial number of ex-Nokia core engineers and directors, and has aggressively hired top MeeGo talent to contribute to the new smartphone development and production.
Jussi Hurmola, a founder, said "We want to bring in the parts of MeeGo that were liked: native multitasking, application integration and data integration. (...) Also the user interface must be customizable."
“Creating an ecosystem is about co-operating, it’s not about going alone. What we are doing is collecting partners (...). I’m open to all co-operation. There are different forms of co-operation of course, but the key is to grow the ecosystem.”. With the Jolla's UI complete Jolla has a tangible product to unite old MeeGo partners scattered around the world.
Dr. Antti Saarnio, Chairman of Jolla Ltd., said: "China has the largest and most rapidly expanding smartphone market in the world. This agreement with D.Phone is a major step in Jolla’s journey towards becoming a significant player in the global smartphone market.".
Regarding company culture, Jussi Hurmola has said: "Jolla has a very dynamic structure. We have 3 levels in the company - engineers/designers, chiefs and executives. Chiefs emerge from the teams through their contribution and merits. The teams are changing in our development and business iterations to match the current targets. Jolla employee compensation is based on contribution in the previous business or development iterations."
First unveiled device, the product prototype
Specifications of the first device
On the 20th of May 2013, Jolla unveiled the details and design of their first device. The unveiling came after the internet marketing campaign #IamTheOtherHalf . The following details of the device have been released so far:
- Original Jolla design with ample Estrade display
- 4.5” IPS qHD (960×540) 5-point multi-touch display protected with Gorilla Glass 2
- Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core processor (1.4 GHz)
- GSM, 3G, 4G connection (said to be working on 6 continents, hence supposed pentaband)
- MicroSIM format
- 1 GB RAM
- 16 GB (of internal storage memory)
- microSD slot (supported cards not announced yet)
- WLAN 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz
- Bluetooth 4.0 EDR HS
- AGPS & GLONASS
- USB2.0 HS
- 8 MP AF camera with LED flash, 2 MP front camera
- User-replaceable battery (2100mAh; 3,8V; 7,98Wh) with Talk time of approx. 7.7(GSM)/5.5(3G) hrs. and a stand-by time of approx. 500 hrs. (video playback and music playback approx. time unknown)
- sensors: proximity, accelerometer, gyro, e-compass, ambient light.
- The Other Half, the exchangeable back cover of the phone, increasing expandability through changeable "smart covers". Changing the cover can influence aspects like the UI or performance, as well as enabling hard- and software replacement. The covers connect with the main module through NFC, an I2C bus and IN/OUT power connector. It is also supposed to represent the conception of the Jolla opensource philosophy where the other half is the user, interacting with a device.
- Buttonless display with gesture based Sailfish OS
- Android application compliance
- Standard MicroUSB port for connectivity and charging
- RGB indicator LED
- dual-microphone for noise cancellation
- 3.5 mm 4-pin audio jack port (for headphones, but it is known that other usage is also possible)
- Dimensions: H131 x W68 x D9,9 mm
- Weight: 141g
- Device in English language version (at first, localizations and languages will be added when adding markets)
The Other Half as modular expansion
The Other Half replaceable back cover is not only plastic but can contain built-in software or/and hardware, which can change parameters or characteristics: "This is one of the most powerful things we have ... a very simple example could be that you have covers with different colours," Dillon said. "So you change the back of the device to a red one in the evening and a black one for the office and that would also change the user interface because there is a connection there." The Other Half cover could also have more memory for extra content that could be used by artists to put out limited edition phones, according to Dillon. From a technical point of view, connecting a QWERTY keyboard as The Other Half should be possible according to Jolla officials. During the #JollaLoveDay event in Helsinki Jolla showed off no less than 12 different colours of replaceable The Other Half back covers.
Marketing and promotion
The first phones will ship through DNA on the 27th November 2013 and pre-ordered devices will be sent, shortly thereafter the product will be available online directly from Jolla.
After an internet marketing campaign titled #IamTheOtherHalf came the unveiling event on 20 May 2013, #JollaLoveDay, for Jolla's first device. Jolla launched with just a pre-order campaign, aimed at Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, France and Italy. The campaign has been responded with demand from 136 countries via internet and 100% pre-orders has been sold out in 3 months, by 21 August 2013.
Early market reactions
"(...)Jolla has done a commendable job by co-developing the software and hardware like Apple and unlike Nokia which is developing a platform on a OS on which it does not have a control.(...)".
Jolla's architecture supporting business of any kind and the ecosystem
Jolla created the Sailfish architecture prepared for business and services. It contains following layers (numbering below added for Wikipedia listing purposes, in bottom to up order, from the lowest/hardware layer):
- (0) hardware
- Any hardware platform on which can be launched a kernel ready to work with the Mer core.
- (1st) hardware specific kernel adaptations
- (2nd) MER Core
- Mer: System essentials, Multimedia, Wayland (display server protocol), Graphics (X11), Communications, Personal Information Management, Software Management, Security, Build and Development
- Qt: Qt, Qt Webkit
- (3rd) UI and middleware
- Home screen & switcher, Real live multitasking, Input methods, Ambiance theming, Localisations, multimedia codecs, Power management optimisations, Integrated UX for key web services, Application and UI performance optimisations
- Jolla's & Partner's Sailfish OS adaptations: including services integration and 3rd party integration, these adaptations can have influences/implications on both: 3rd level and 4th level, which can be changed in effect of mentioned adaptations. Extent of changes depends on particular adaptation.
- (4th) Applications
- Jolla's Applications: Phone, Messaging, Contacts, Camera, Gallery, Settings, etc. or similar applications of vendor licensing Sailfish OS.
- 3rd party applications: Browser, Android applications runtime, Maps
- Jolla's & Partner's Sailfish OS adaptations: these adaptations can have influences/implications on both: 3rd level and 4th level, which can be changed in effect of mentioned adaptations. Extent of changes depends on particular adaptation.
- (5th) Application store
- End-users applications: services and software for users.
Above model gives several mentioned business opportunities for vendors, operators, adopters & tweakers, entrepreneurs, developers and others interested in. "(...)Sailfish is built on the heritage of the proven MeeGo™ technology. This ensures that core cellular functionalities like power management and connectivity are inbuilt and optimized in restrained embedded environments. The core of the OS comes from the Mer Project. The UI is built with QML and Qt Quick. This enables fast and easy customization of the UI and further development of partner specific screens with fast and easy to use development tools.(...)".
Jolla Harbour for submitting Sailfish and Android applications to the Jolla Store
The first element of the ecosystem is the Jolla Harbour (harbour.jolla.com) devoted for submitting applications to the Jolla Store, where one can submit and manage one's applications. Consumers are able to install available software directly from their Jolla smartphones.
Software can be submitted on free basis, both Sailfish OS or Android OS applications to Jolla Harbour. The submission process is the same for Android developers and Sailfish developers, in both cases.
There are binary package naming guidelines for uploading files. Developers are to provide metadata:
- An app icon for the Store (86x86px, png)
- 1-3 screenshots (540x960px, png or jpg)
- An optional Cover image for developer's Store page (516x252px, png or jpg)
After submission an application to Jolla Harbour, so the metadata and the binary and required images, Jolla performs Quality Assurance testing on real Jolla devices, then gets back with feedback of QA results within undefined "a few days" via the email address registered to Jolla account.
At launch, the Jolla Harbour and Jolla Store support only free applications. The works to enable payment solutions are in progress and these capabilities are to be published as they develop.
At the beginning of November 2013 it was launched but not fully operational as still under construction, so it is in advanced public betatesting, but not the full performance. It allows developers and users to test portal performance with free applications and Jolla to correct issues reported by users to avoid the shame of non-working properly store known generally from former mobiles vendor. That is also fulfilling of the one of the main demands from both customers and developers: the correct performance of searching & downloading & charging for customers, of publishing & managing & paying for developers.
During the first days after launch at 6 November 2013 number of interested in exceeded expectations and hardware abilities. There were so many demands that the server was overloaded and access to the Jolla Harbour portal website was impossible.
Jolla has revealed its plans to use the following technologies in its products: The core distribution (which mean it does not contain system kernel and UI) from Mer is used, (a meritocracy-governed and managed successor of the MeeGo OS, but without its own Graphical User Interface and without system kernel), an in-house user interface, HTML5, QML and Qt. Jolla continues to use the MeeGo API (via the Mer core), which consists of Qt, Qt Mobility and OpenGL ES.
The included Mer core is essential for availability with many different kinds of hardware and devices. Mer's primary customers are not end-users, but "vendors", which include device vendors, hardware adopters and community distributions. Mer provides a mobile device oriented architecture, structure, processes and tools to make life easy for these vendors. The core is based upon the work from the MeeGo project. The current Mer (name comes from "MeeGo Reconstructed", although at first it was based on Maemo) was created after the discussion about new directions for the MeeGo project, approaching it from the angle of reconstructing the project from bottom up in order to reignite the project and fix problems with project management, governance, lack of transparency, direction and flexibility by the community as a fork of the MeeGo project. The Mer project contains only libraries of core OS, but no user interface.
Software available for Sailfish OS devices
Upon Jolla's declarations that Sailfish OS is be able to use software from following platforms
- Sailfish (natively created + ported like from Qt, Symbian, MeeGo - several developers have reported that porting a Qt written software with Sailfish SDK takes a few hours only, so porting from Symbian or MeeGo expands revenue source easily)
- MeeGo (because of backward compatibility thanks to MeeGo code legacy included in the Mer core)
- Android (using built-in Alien Dalvik by Myriad Group, which will allow to use most applications like a native android device.)
- Unix and Linux (as Sailfish is Linux then using such a software is possible, especially RPM packages, either in terminal/console mode or with limitations implying from using Sailfish UI, if not ported and adjusted)
Number of all kinds applications available for Jolla exceeded 600 thousands unique positions in 2013.
The Jolla's Sailfish OS can be used, just like MeeGo, for many kinds of devices like mobiles, computers, notebooks, navigations, smart TV, cars and IVI, household devices, and other forms of consumer electronics.
As Jolla's Sailfish OS use the Mer core distribution then it can be used with various hardware, like ARM or Intel and many others. It is possible because the Mer core distribution does not contain neither a kernel nor UI, but libraries above kernel and below UI layers. To make a working Linux distribution a specific kernel compatible with a particular hardware and a UI (like Jolla UI in the first unveiled device prototype) are to be added - this creates the distribution of Linux Mer/MeeGo Sailfish OS for particular hardware. Also this allows Sailfish OS with appropriate kernel to work on every hardware. Because of open source basis and rules it can be used by all interested in using of those solutions e.g. to adopt for a particular hardware or any special needs.
Hardware components are widely adapted on Sailfish and this should make it possible to bring very strong hardware. When the ST-Ericsson has joined the Sailfish Alliance a wide support with NovaThor hardware platform was declared.
Jolla hardware was shown in May 2013 and the release is expected before the end of 2013. Design of the phone will come directly from Jolla. Jolla's first smartphone is to have a screen bigger than 3.5 inches, presented prototype had 4.5 inches "Estrade" display. Jolla's Sailfish OS has been fully operational on 23-inch screen of Acer T231H when launched on Dell notebook.
Jolla's Sailfish OS works in a tablet too. About tablet in November 2012 it was said that we could see Sailfish tablet, but Jolla itself will on this first wave concentrate on a smartphone. Sailfish has been presented on devices like:
Because of open source nature and characteristics (especially used virtual box) of Sailfish SDK there is no need to establish any particular device as the development reference machine. However the Sailfish OS has been presented at first with Nokia N950 and Nokia N9 devices, it also was launch on several various devices like e.g.: the Iconia tab W500 an x86 tablet among others.
Jolla, the company name, means dinghy (a small agile boat) in Finnish. It can also be recognized as an ironic joke about the "burning platform memo" which "accidentally leaked" from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop in February 2011.
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- Official website
- Sailfish Smartphone blog
- Jolla smartfon prototype and Sailfish OS presentation by Chief Designer Martin Schüle, 2013
- Sailfish OS wiki - almost everything about the Sailfish OS and related subjects
- FAQ about Jolla & Sailfish OS