MeeGo to return next month with Jolla phone launch
The Finnish startup Jolla Ltd says that it has raised €200 million from a number of, currently unnamed, telecommunications companies and that it will be unveiling a MeeGo-based device next month. The funding consortium is reported to include at least one telecom operator, a chipset maker, and device and component manufacturers. Reports in the Wall Street Journal say that the company is well advanced with its plans and will show the first version of its MeeGo-based system, "Sailfish", next month.
Jolla first appeared in July 2012 saying it planned to continue the work that Nokia began with the MeeGo operating system. Nokia abandoned MeeGo, despite launching the N9 smartphone that runs it, as the company switched to a Windows-Phone-only business model. Former Nokia employees left to form Jolla with a plan apparently centred on bringing MeeGo to market in a new smartphone design. It was later reported that Jolla had already signed a deal with a Chinese retailer. In August, one of the team members, COO Marc Dillon, tweeted that the company had reached its first development target.
Although MeeGo is an open source operating system, using Qt 4.7, Qt Mobility and OpenGL EX, it appears that Jolla's plans will not include open sourcing the user interface layer that it is building on top of the operating system platform. The company hopes to have Sailfish ready for licensing by other companies by spring 2013. Jussi Hurmola, Jolla's Chief Executive, says the company is looking at licensing both the Jolla-developed software and the IP rights related to its user interface. "Much of the recent litigation between Apple and Android makers have touched upon user-interface infringement. Our software is well-patented and we haven't copied anybody. That's a big opportunity for device makers," Hurmola told the Journal.