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Sailfish China consortium

 
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BentL
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PostPosted: Monday, 27.Feb.2017 17:17    Post subject: Sailfish China consortium   Reply with quote   

Sailfish China consortium will develop a Chinese operating system based on Sailfish OS, see press release (PDF):

Quote:
Jolla announces Sailfish China consortium aiming to build a local mobile operating system for the Chinese market

Mobile World Congress 2017, Barcelona, February 27, 2017 - Jolla Ltd., the Finnish mobile company and developer of open mobile operating system Sailfish OS today announced the birth of a new Sailfish China consortium. Jolla has signed an exclusive license agreement with the consortium, which aims to build a Sailfish OS based independent mobile operating system for the territory of China.

The Sailfish OS license granted to the consortium gives an exclusive license and rights to further develop a Chinese operating system based on Sailfish OS. The Sailfish China consortium will develop Sailfish OS based solutions for secure smartphones, the automotive industry, TV, IoT and smartwatches. The Sailfish consortium targets to invest 250 million USD to the Sailfish ecosystem development in China.

Mr. Shan Li, one of the leading private equity investors in China and an early Jolla investor, will take a leading role in building up the consortium.

Shan Li comments: “China needs an own independent mobile operating system. I have been closely following Sailfish OS development, and seen many Chinese projects fail, while Jolla’s Sailfish OS has been steadily progressing. Sailfish OS is the only viable alternative for China. There are already several major Chinese companies interested to join this consortium.”

Mr. Antti Saarnio, Chairman of Jolla Ltd. comments: “Since the beginning of Jolla, for five long years we have been aiming to offer Sailfish OS for the China market. At the same time, China has for many years tried to build their own OS based on Android, but without success. Building China’s national operating system strategy on code which is controlled by others, is like building your house on sand. It looks promising in the beginning, but in the long term it won’t last. Russia has already successfully implemented their own Sailfish OS version, supported by Jolla. Technically the Russian project was implemented in less than 6 months. With this exclusive license to the Chinese consortium, we offer a very fast path to build an independent operating system, which gives China the opportunity to build their mobile technology on solid rock, instead of sand”.

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Bent Laursen
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BentL
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PostPosted: Monday, 27.Feb.2017 17:27    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Jolla inks exclusive license in China, see TechCrunch:

Quote:
Jolla inks exclusive license to kick-start its Android alternative in China

Mobile OS maker Jolla, whose Sailfish platform remains one of the few smartphone alternatives in play these days, has signed an exclusive license to a Chinese consortium to develop a Sailfish-based OS for the country.

Jolla says the Chinese consortium will be aiming to invest $250M in developing a Sailfish ecosystem for the country, though it’s not specifying exactly is backing the consortia at this point, nor over what timeframe the investment will happen — beyond saying one of its early investors, a local private equity investor Shan Li, will take a “leading role” in building it up.

“There are very big players behind it,” Jolla chairman Antti Saarnio tells TechCrunch, speaking ahead of a press conference held to announce the news here at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona.

“We are discussing with very big players joining in. We are not granting this [exclusive] licence for small businesses — it’s some very big Chinese players joining this. They have both the financial and other resources to scale the operating system in China.”

“What we have been talking about is starting with the security phone area, so there are corporate and government use-cases where a secure mobile operating system is needed. That’s the first use-case that we are going to start implementing [with the China consortium],” he adds.

“In addition to this I would say there’s lot of potential in other areas like TV, also IoT, smartwatches, maybe smart home areas. Those are areas which we, Jolla, did not enter into those areas — because our own resources have been so limited.

“But of course the Chinese market is huge, and those players have the resources to scale this operating system into various new areas.”

If you’re feeling a sense of deja-vu you’d be right; Jolla announced a plan to create a China ecosystem for Sailfish all the way back in 2012 — with a similar amount slated for ecosystem investment then too. However Saarnio says it’s essentially taken what was then a very small startup five years to get the ball rolling and convince Chinese players to look beyond the Android Open Source Project — and invest in an alternative mobile platform that’s not ultimately controlled by Google’s corporate agenda.

“It seems that the market has finally learnt,” he says. “What’s happening at the moment in China is that all the biggest players like Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, they have their own concepts where they are building [platforms]. For example Alibaba is building their own smart hub concept, their own car industry smart car concept and so on. And there are many very large players who need to compete with these projects and they are missing their operating system solutions — so we are talking to these kinds of companies.”

Alternative mobile OSes are essentially an endangered species these days, given the smartphone market lies prone in the grip of Android domination, with iOS getting to cream off most of the profit at the high end. Analyst Gartner gave the ‘others’ category just 0.2 per cent market share at the last count.

Yet Helsinki-headquartered Jolla — one of those few remaining ‘others’ — isn’t giving up pushing its Sailfish mobile OS, although it almost got snuffed out in a funding death valley back in late 2015. And despite dabbling with making its own hardware initially, Jolla has since shifted away from the consumer hardware space, to trying to license the OS to corporates and governments by offering a non-Android based open platform that they can mould to their needs (but which does also have Android app compatibility built it).

The main target for Jolla’s Sailfish sales pitch now is countries seeking a non-US-controlled mobile platform on which they can build a services strategy.

Back in November, for example, Jolla gained Russian certification for the Sailfish OS to be used for government and corporate use in the country — the first substantial win for the approach.

And today the first Sailfish device for the Russian market is also being announced by Jolla’s local licensee there, Open Mobile Platform, with the device being made by Inoi and due to launch in April. Speaking at a press event, CEO of OMP Pavel Eyges touted the forthcoming handset as “absolutely Google-free!”, and said Russian consumers and businesses are increasingly concerned about security and privacy — which is the market it’s targeting.

“We see citizens with concerns about privacy, malware; at the corporate level see concerns about data breaches,” said Eyges. “We see a lot of concerns about backdoors and documented features.

“There is no trust — behavioral data is being harvested by abroad companies and transferred to abroad data centers.”

“There seems to be very strong political support for Sailfish Russia project, and I think that their agenda will be expanding quite rapidly,” says Saarnio.

During the press event Jolla also noted the Russian version of its platform will not be utilizing Android app compatibility — which makes sense if you’re touting something being “absolutely Google free!”.

In November Saarnio told TechCrunch Jolla was also in talks with the Chinese government, though he described it as a “more complex” country to negotiate with. But having secured an agreement with Russia, he said he was hopeful of movement in China and elsewhere — and now it looks like things are coming together for Jolla in the Far East.

Might the Chinese government be a future user of Sailfish-powered devices built by the new local consortium? “Of course we are aiming for that,” says Saarnio. “We are opening discussions to the government direction.

“How it went in Russia was we got investors and licensing partner who had good connections to government, and then we proved that we have a working solution for Russia. And then we got the government support. And now in China we are going to implement the same path.”

Saarnio reckons that within 10 to 12 months the China consortium should have Sailfish devices in the local market. Though it remains to be seen whether the consortium’s goal of pushing an alternative to the dominant Android platform is able to gain traction.

Also today, Jolla is announcing a strategic partnership with the Jala Group, a high tech holding in Bolvia which provides cloud services to enterprises. The hope there is also to move towards developing a Sailfish strategy for the region, says Saarnio, although he describes the project as at a “pilot phase”. Although a first Sailfish device is slated to be manufactured by the Group this September.

Another announcement from Jolla today is it’s adding support for Sony’s Open Devices Program — meaning developers looking to run Sailfish on additional hardware will be able to choose from certain Sony Xperia devices in future. The Xperia X will be first in line to get support, and is being demoed by Jolla running Sailfish here at MWC.

Jolla says it’s aiming to release an official version of the Sailfish OS for a range of Sony Mobile’s Xperia devices “soon”. It last released a community device of its own making, the Jolla C, back in May 2016.

“For us it’s very important that we have a solid hardware partner to offer Sailfish devices to the market,” says Saarnio. “And Sony is the perfect partner for these kind of secure devices. For us it was too much to develop our own phone in an organization that is focused on software development, so I think this is a very good move from our side in that our developers can keep a proper device for Sailfish and use that. And why not our fans as well?”

Speaking at Jolla’s press conference during the Mobile World Congress here in Barcelona, Saarnio added that the startup is expecting to become profitable this year.

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PostPosted: Monday, 10.Apr.2017 10:39    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Jolla update on the Sailfish China consortium, see press release (PDF):

Quote:
Jolla update: Sailfish China consortium proceeding to implementation phase

Helsinki, Finland, April 5, 2017 - Jolla Ltd., the Finnish mobile company and developer of open mobile operating system Sailfish OS announces that Sailfish China OS is proceeding into implementation phase. Jolla expects that within 6 months China will have its own independent mobile operating system, based on Sailfish OS.

Earlier this year, Jolla announced that it has granted a Sailfish OS license to a Chinese consortium, giving the consortium an exclusive license and rights to further develop a Chinese operating system based on Sailfish OS. The Sailfish China consortium will develop Sailfish OS based solutions for secure smartphones, the automotive industry, TV, IoT and smartwatches. The Sailfish consortium targets to invest 250 million USD to the Sailfish ecosystem development in China.

Chairman of Jolla Ltd., Antti Saarnio comments: “As President of China is just now visiting Finland, we are proud to announce that the Sailfish China project is proceeding very well, and we have now started the implementation phase of the project. We expect that in less than 6 months China will have its own independent mobile operating system based on Sailfish OS.”

Sailfish OS is the only mobile operating system, which is available for countries to license. It origins from Nokia’s MeeGo operating system, which Jolla’s start-up team further continued and created into Sailfish OS.

Saarnio continues: “This is an excellent example of technological collaboration between Finland and China. I expect that many similar collaboration projects will follow. There has been many Chinese projects aiming to develop a mobile operating system, but they all have failed. It takes several years to develop an operating system, and it is much wiser to utilize existing technology, and license it.”

“Personally I believe that Finland and China can both benefit hugely from sharing technologies. To accelerate this, Finland and China could create joint R&D centers in the core technology areas such as mobile, clean tech, energy technology, and others.”

Currently Sailfish OS is licensed by Russia and China. Jolla is actively negotiating With new partner countries.

Saarnio concludes: “We expect that by 2022, 10 to 20 countries have followed Russia’s and China’s example and are building their secure mobile communication based on Sailfish OS. With Russia being already on board, Sailfish OS is ideal to be used in the whole one belt one road area.”

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