LONDON – Former employees from Nokia's MeeGo N9 organization have formed an independent smartphone product company called Jolla Oy (Helsinki, Finland). The company has announced a sales and distribution agreement with D.Phone Group, the largest chain of mobile phone shops in China. Jolla said the companies have agreed targets for sales volume in China's 150 million unit per year smartphone market.
N9 is a smartphone from Nokia that runs the MeeGo operating system but Nokia announced in 2011 it was dropping MeeGo to focus on the Windows Phone operating system from Microsoft. MeeGo is a Linux-based open source mobile operating system targeted at a range of mobile devices.
Jolla, which means dinghy in Finnish, plans to design, develop and sell MeeGo-derived smartphones. The company has said it was formed in 2011, has investors and partners and has been developing a smartphone to be launched later in 2012. The operating system has evolved from MeeGo using technologies called Mer Core and Qt and will include in innovative user interface, the company said.
The company name could be a reference to the occasion in February 2011 when Nokia CEO Stephen Elop likened Nokia to a burning oil platform that would force workers to jump into the sea.
Jolla's senior executives are CEO Jussi Hurmola, chairman Antti Saarnio Sami Pienimaki, vice president of sales and business development; Stefano Mosconi, chief information officer and chief operating officer Marc Dillon.
"Nokia created something wonderful – the world's best smartphone product. It deserves to be continued, and we will do that together with all the bright and gifted people contributing to the MeeGo success story," said Jussi Hurmola, in a statement.
The company has about 50 employees and received help from Nokia as part of redundancy support program to form the company, according to reports.
Interestingly Jolla has emerged without sharing detail of its website, which is thought to be www.jollamobile.com.
I think the main reason was that the deal with Microsoft was made in order to save in software development costs. MeeGo was actually very well received amongst critics and was acclaimed to be the best Nokia smartphone OS to date and serious challenger to iOS and Android.
Unfortunately the Nokia lead didn't believe in MeeGo and signed the deal with Microsoft. Elop even kindly slandered MeeGo, which was probably the most bizarre brain fart of a CEO. A cool way to say "thanks" to hundreds of engineers that worked years on that product.
MeeGo was killed right after its birth and the rest is history: Nowadays Nokia is a dying company in a life-support married to Microsoft.
I wish Jolla to succeed and make clear that the whole Microsoft fiasco was a huge miscalculation on behalf of Elop and other Nokia management.
Most Android phone vendors pay Microsoft Tax of 5-15$/phone for patents. So less expensive than Android is definitely possible, atleast till MS sues them.
Personally I feel, they should just go ahead and license the OS to all the chinese vendors than trying to build a phone themselves.
This is a brave move by the Meego folks. Good to see the confidence in the team and they might prove Nokia's decision of abandoning Meego wrong, though I feel it is greatly challenging job to compete against Andriod, Apple. If Julia succeeds, it will be interesting to see how Nokia responds. Are they getting the phone hardware from Nokia?