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Jolla Oy
Company typeOsakeyhtiö
(Limited company)
IndustryMobile operating system
PredecessorMeeGo team from Nokia
FoundedPirkkala, Finland (29 March 2011 (2011-03-29))
  • Sami Pienimäki
  • Jussi Hurmola
  • Marc Dillon
  • Stefano Mosconi
  • Antti Saarnio
Area served
Key people
  • Sami Pienimäki (CEO)
ProductsAppSupport, software for running Android apps on embedded Linux. Sailfish OS, a GNU-based operating system for mobile devices with roots in the MeeGo project.
Number of employees
50 employees

Jolla Oy[1] (sometimes referred to as Jolla Ltd.) is a Finnish technology company; vendor and developer of Sailfish OS.[2] Headquartered in Tampere, Finland, Jolla has its own research and development offices in Helsinki, Tampere and Cyberport, Hong Kong. Jolla was founded in 2011 by former Nokia staff of the MeeGo project team to use the MeeGo opportunities and its "endless possibilities".

Pronounced 'yolla', the company name is Finnish for "dinghy" (a small agile boat or life rescue boat) and it refers to the possibility for the company to compete against giants like Samsung and Apple pictured in antithesis as big cruise ships. Then, the community and the media used the name as an ironic joke about the "burning platform" memo, which contained the metaphor "jump into the cold sea water" or "burn with burning platform" used in context of the Nokia business activities.[3]


Former logo

In 2005, Nokia created a new GNU distro called OS2005, which shipped with the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. It was renamed Maemo (version 5) and shipped with the Nokia N900 in 2009. An alliance of Nokia and Intel merged their Maemo and Moblin (also a free software GNU distro) projects into a new project called MeeGo in 2010. The same year, Nokia announced that the N8 would be the last flagship phone to run Symbian, and "Going forward, N-series devices will be based on MeeGo".[4]

Unexpectedly, in 2011 the MeeGo project was cancelled, regardless of MeeGo's potential for success, as a cost-cutting measure by then-Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop.[5] In compliance with agreements with Intel, one MeeGo device was released, the Nokia N9, which achieved iconic status [citation needed].

Despite the N9 market success, the MeeGo project in Nokia was already doomed and a general atmosphere around it was having more and more negative influence on the MeeGo team and other Nokia employees. As a result, in October 2011, some of the MeeGo team left Nokia to form the project called Jolla, aimed at developing new opportunities with the GNU MeeGo OS, using funding from Nokia's "Bridge" program which helps establish and support start-up companies by ex-Nokia employees.[6][7][8]

At the time, Nokia was supporting employees leaving the company with a €25,000 start-up grant, but Jolla's founders had not given any rights to patents or other intellectual property to Jolla. Jolla's Sailfish OS, which used middleware core stack of Mer, is a direct successor to MeeGo and the Jolla is successor of N9, but used only the open-sourced components of MeeGo, while the closed-source user interface design (of codename Harmattan) for all future devices had to be developed from scratch. As a result, new mobile standards were established together with Mer.

On 6 July 2012, Jolla publicly announced its intention to develop new smartphones that used a gesture-oriented swipe interface corresponding to former Nokia's Harmattan UI experience. They named their operating system "Sailfish OS", which includes a gesture-based user interface developed using Qt, QML and HTML5, as did Nokia's N9.

Jolla cooperated with others to grow their applications and the MeeGo platform.[9] On 17 September 2013, it announced that the phone will be capable of running Android applications, thanks to the built-in Alien Dalvik. Due to formal limitations, the Google Play Store had to be installed by the end user manually.[10] The ability to run Android applications on Linux has grown into the AppSupport product, which is offered for running Android apps on in-car infotainment systems and other embedded systems.[11] This appears to be Jolla's main source of income, as of 2022-23.

On 7 July 2015, after a failure of cooperation with Chinese manufacturer to deliver the Jolla Tablet, Jolla announced it would spin off its hardware operations to a brand new company, and continue to focus on current activities as a developer and licenser of the Sailfish OS.[12]

In November 2015, Jolla had to lay off half of its employees due to financial problems caused by delayed financing from an investor. On 21 December 2015, forced to cancel the Jolla Tablet project, Jolla announced that they would be "shipping a small batch of the Jolla Tablet to early backers during early 2016" but "all of our backers will not get a Jolla Tablet",[13] because their Chinese manufacturer had already produced a batch as a consequence of delayed financing, while it was impossible to produce more as essential components were no longer produced. Subsequently, in April 2016, Jolla launched a campaign to refund all the tablet payments that had been made during the crowd-sourcing campaign,[14] but most backers lost their money.

After the setbacks with the tablet production, Jolla concentrated on developing the Sailfish mobile operating system. It acquired new investors in 2016, among them the Russian company Votron [citation needed]. In March 2018 they were joined by Rostelecom (which is state owned) as investor, which took over Votron and OMP.[15][16] Rostelecom owns 75% of the Sailfish based Aurora OS.[17]

In August 2017, Sailfish X was introduced for the Sony Xperia X smartphone.[18] Support for the Sony Xperia XA2 was added as beta in November 2018.[19] Support for the newer Sony Xperia 10 was added in November 2019.[20]

In February 2022 Jolla announced that it has discontinued its business in Russia during 2021 and is seeking a shareholder structure without Russian ownership.[21]

In November 2023 Jolla announced that Pirkanmaa District Court had approved a corporate restructuring plan which would see Jolla's business and staff acquired by a new company owned by the Jolla management team. [22]

In December 2023 German Developers ported SailfishOS successfully to Siemens GigaSet GX290 Smartphone model.

In May 2024 Jolla filed for bankruptcy[23]

Sailfish OS[edit]

Operating system[edit]

Sailfish OS is an operating system that can be adapted to different mobile devices.

Sailfish OS is an evolution of the Nokia MeeGo and Mer project. It is based on GNU free software code powered with C, C++, Qt and QML. The core is developed on Linux kernel that enables a wide hardware support.

Sailfish OS has its own native applications that can be developed and uploaded in the store through the portal harbour.jolla.com. Sailfish application are complemented by the Android ecosystem. Here with Alien Dalvik, third-party Android applications become compatible with Sailfish.

Sailfish OS has an open core that can be improved by the community but also a proprietary UI that is seen as the succession of the Nokia N9 interface. Basic UI applications, like mail, contacts, camera are provided by Jolla and are under continuous development.

Sailfish OS 1 was launched in December 2013 with the first Jolla phone.

Sailfish OS 2 was implemented in November 2015 for the Jolla Tablet and made compatible for all other products onward.

Sailfish OS 3 was released on 11 November 2018. This version and its ongoing series of updates introduced a faster user interface. The new generation will be focused on privacy and security as well as extending the support to new hardware.[24]

Sailfish OS 4 was released on 16 February 2021.

Sailfish OS products[edit]

Marc Dillon showing Jolla's phone. The event was titled Jolla Love Day at KlausK, Helsinki.[25]
People waiting to get hands-on with Jolla's phone
Jolla's mobile phone


The phone was provided with a total of 34 updates and upgrades for 7 years.[32][33]


AppSupport uses a Linux Container (LXC) to run an Android-like environment within an embedded Linux system. Jolla's November 2022 whitepaper claimed a 99.4% pass rate on the Android Compatibility Test Suite, at about 97% of the performance of an Android Open Source Project environment. As of that date, AppSupport could emulate Android versions up to Android 10 (API 29, released in September 2019) and install unmodified APK files.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jolla Oy", Business Information System, the Finnish National Board of Patents and Registration, and the Finnish Tax Administration, archived from the original on July 18, 2012, retrieved July 18, 2012
  2. ^ Jolla at LinkedIn. "LinkedIn". LinkedIn. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  3. ^ Zieler, Chris. "Who wants to be the mobile of Google, not Nokia". Archived from the original on July 20, 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Nokia picks MeeGo over Symbian for iPhone rival". Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  5. ^ "Nokia will not return to MeeGo even if N9 turns out to be a hit, says Stephen Elop". blog.gsmarena.com. 26 June 2011. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  6. ^ "Many former Nokia employees start businesses of their own", Helsingin Sanomat, archived from the original on February 9, 2014
  7. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (10 July 2012). "Nokia Bridge: Nokia's Incubator Gives Departing Employees €25k And More To Pursue Ideas That Nokia Has Not". techcrunch.com. Archived from the original on October 18, 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  8. ^ Tung, Liam. "Inside Nokia Bridge: How Nokia funds ex-employees' new start-ups". zdnet.com. © 2013 CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  9. ^ Davies, Chris (July 11, 2012). "Jolla Mobile CEO: "MeeGo is not dead"". slashgear.com. SlashGear. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  10. ^ "Jolla Sailfish OS to support Android hardware, apps". The Register. Archived from the original on July 20, 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  11. ^ "AppSupport runs Android apps on any Linux Platform". Retrieved 26 February 2023.
  12. ^ "Mobile Maker Jolla Splits In Two, With Sailfish OS Its First Order Of Business". TechCrunch. 7 July 2015. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  13. ^ "New Year's Greetings from Jolla". December 31, 2015. Archived from the original on January 11, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  14. ^ "New Year's Greetings from Jolla". 25 May 2016. Archived from the original on January 1, 2018. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Rostelecom plans acquisition of Sailfish OS". 6 February 2018. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  16. ^ "A new strategic investor joins the Sailfish family". 18 March 2018. Archived from the original on March 7, 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  17. ^ "SAILFISH OS IS NOW AURORA OS IN RUSSIA". February 9, 2019. Archived from the original on September 3, 2021. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  18. ^ "Introducing Sailfish X and all the details you want to know". 25 August 2017. Archived from the original on September 5, 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  19. ^ "New Sailfish X support for Xperia XA2 variants and free trial". 8 November 2018. Archived from the original on November 9, 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Sailfish X for Sony Xperia 10 now available". 19 November 2019. Archived from the original on July 4, 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  21. ^ "LinkedIn". Archived from the original on March 4, 2022. Retrieved March 4, 2022.
  22. ^ "Former leadership of Finnish technology company Jolla to purchase Jolla Ltd.'s business" (PDF).
  23. ^ Rintakoski, Kari (2024-05-24). "Jollaa haetaan konkurssiin". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 2024-05-28.
  24. ^ "Sailfish OS about". Archived from the original on August 26, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  25. ^ "MoMo Helsinki – May 20th – Featuring Jolla Love Day". Mobile Monday. Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
  26. ^ "Jolla - A new beginning (Official)". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 31, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  27. ^ "Jolla Tablet". 15 October 2018.
  28. ^ "Jolla C".
  29. ^ "Jolla shop". Archived from the original on August 26, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  30. ^ "Supported Devices".
  31. ^ "Sailfish for Gemini Community Edition available now". June 26, 2018. Archived from the original on August 26, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  32. ^ "Jolla Ends Software Updates For The First Jolla Phone". 2020-11-26. Archived from the original on December 4, 2021. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  33. ^ "The Original Jolla Phone turns 7 today". 2021-01-05. Archived from the original on December 4, 2021. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  34. ^ "AppSupport for Linux Platforms whitepaper" (PDF). Retrieved 26 February 2023.

External links[edit]