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PostPosted: Friday, 20.Nov.2015 17:08    Post subject: The End?   Reply with quote   

It came to my email account today:

Helsinki, Finland, November 20, 2015 - - Jolla Ltd, the mobile company from Finland today announced that its latest financing round which aimed to end in November, has been postponed and the company needs to adjust its operations accordingly. At the same time the company has filed for a debt restructuring program in Finland, to ensure the continuity of its business. Jolla will also temporarily lay off a big part of its personnel.

[.....cut out blah blah blah about how great Jolla is......]

The temporary lay offs of Jolla’s personnel will start during December.


----------

... yet they were too rich to bother to enable paid apps on which they would have been earning easy money doing nothing...
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PostPosted: Friday, 20.Nov.2015 17:16    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Jolla files for debt restructuring and will do temporary layoffs, see press release (PDF):

Quote:
Jolla’s financing round delayed - files for debt restructuring

Helsinki, Finland, October 20, 2015 - - Jolla Ltd, the mobile company from Finland today announced that its latest financing round which aimed to end in November, has been postponed and the company needs to adjust its operations accordingly. At the same time the company has filed for a debt restructuring program in Finland, to ensure the continuity of its business. Jolla will also temporarily lay off a big part of its personnel.

The mobile company Jolla Ltd. was founded four years ago with a vision to change the mobile world. This journey, cited by many to be ‘an impossible task’, has featured many ups and downs including developing Sailfish OS, an own mobile operating system, aunching internationally two mobile devices, and raising 50M USD to finance the operation.

Last autumn, Sailfish OS reached commercial maturity and now the company is ready to licence it to commercial partners. Sailfish OS has a lot to offer to its customers: for device manufacturers it offers an independent platform to build truly differentiated consumer offerings; and for security companies, the platform offers an ability to build secure solutions. Jolla’s aim is to offer Sailfish OS to different partners who want a tailored operating system to support their own businesses.

Antti Saarnio, Chairman and Co-founder of Jolla comments: “Typically for start-ups Jolla has gone through several death valleys along its four year journey. We’ve fought them through and now we are facing again a great challenge. Our operating system Sailfish OS is in great shape currently and it is commercially ready. Unfortunately the development until this point has required quite a lot of time and money. To get out of this death valley we need to move from a development phase into a growth phase. At the same time we need to adapt our cost levels to the new situation. One of the main actions is to tailor the operating system to fit the needs of different clients. We have several major and smaller potential clients who are interested in using Sailfish OS in their projects.”

Jolla has today filed for the debt restructuring program in Helsinki. With this the company aims secure the future of its business and to get more time to arrange the future financing of the company.

Antti Saarnio continues: ”In Finland we have very good laws for corporate restructuring. These enable the continuation of businesses through debt restructuring, which gives a company more time to take care of its financial liabilities. I believe that through this program Jolla can turn its business to be profitable in the future. Sailfish OS is a very valuable asset and worth fighting for.”

The temporary lay offs of Jolla’s personnel will start during December.

--
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PostPosted: Saturday, 21.Nov.2015 14:05    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I'm usually against that companies buy up other companies but Jolla really needs to be bought by an investor who can set the bar a bit higher than Jolla does. Nokia perhaps?
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PostPosted: Saturday, 21.Nov.2015 17:31    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

MeowTseDong wrote:
I'm usually against that companies buy up other companies but Jolla really needs to be bought by an investor who can set the bar a bit higher than Jolla does. Nokia perhaps?


The best option would be a Nokia buyout followed by a resumption of the E/N series with a Nokia N10 and N960. The other option is a company with interest of making Sailfish an open, available platform with broad backing from other companies.

The only company who could succeed with Sailfish as "their own" platform without other backing is Nokia since I have a feeling their brand is still strong. If they would introduce the system as their successor to Harmattan and Symbian it could be successful.

Another option is to keep Jolla in operation as an independent OS developer in order to get other manufacturers interested.
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PostPosted: Sunday, 22.Nov.2015 17:47    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Jolla is in negotiations with an investor, see TechCrunch:

Quote:
Mobile OS Maker Jolla To Cut Half Its Staff, Restructure Its Debt After Funding Stalls

Finnish alternative mobile OS startup Jolla is facing the situation startups dread the most: running out of financing to keep the business going in the way they’d like. Today the Sailfish OS maker said it is being forced to adjust its operations after failing to close a €10 million ($10.6M) Series C round within the required timeframe to keep up with its outgoings.

Negotiations with the unnamed single investor for its Series C have been postponed, according to chairman and co-founder Antii Saaarnio. He tells TechCrunch he hopes the financing negotiations will start up again in December.

“We were negotiating for three months for financing round, and of course we are a startup which is dependent on the external financing. In the final moments this financing round was postponed, still with one month — and this caused us to be forced to make this action.”

Around half of Jolla’s staff will be laid off as the startup tightens its belt to make do in the interim — although it’s describing these as “temporary” job cuts, clearly hoping to be able to rehire once or if funding starts flowing again. It’s also filed for a debt restructuring program in Finland to ensure it can still keep operating during the funding gap.

“We are of course hoping that these are temporary actions… And we are committed to continue the company but really this depends on the external investors as well, how are we able to continue operations,” Saaarnio adds.

If it can’t close the Series C is that the end of the road for its bid to make an alternative mobile OS business stick in a marketplace massively dominated by Google’s Android on the volume front, and Apple’s iOS at the high end?

No, argues Saarnio, saying Jolla could still keep “carrying the Sailfish OS asset even for a very, very long time”. Jolla last raised a $12.4 million Series B round in December 2014 — when it reported its total funding as $42 million.

However he concedes it would be unable to retain the talent and fund the expensive development work needed to ensure its Sailfish OS is competitive against more well-resourced mobile OS rivals. So would likely need to look at alternative models vs the OS licensing business it has been pushing most recently.

“In order to keep fighting we need to close the December financing for sure. It’s very important for the company,” he says. “The Sailfish OS requires quite a big investment and human resources… And that’s something we have difficulties to continue if we don’t have additional financing, it’s difficult to continue developing the operating system with these resources that we have at the moment.

“The company will continue and the Sailfish OS will continue but the actual development so that this becomes competitive asset and alternative requires additional financing.”

[...]

So why the delay closing the round? He says it “hasn’t been easy” for Jolla to find investors — given the huge dominance of Google in the mobile space. And clearly it’s also proving an uphill task for Jolla to persuade its one strategic investor that an Android alternative has any legs at this point.

“We have had to search for investors. It’s a very specific investment, and it’s typical it needs to have a strategic angle and at this point we only had one strategic investor, we didn’t have several who we were negotiating with. And that led to a situation… where we were not able to close early enough,” he says. “Our agenda is a scary agenda to many even major players in the industry. Google and Android is so strong, so many, many strong players have difficulties to believe on the other competing agendas.

“But at the same time I feel that… the alternative OS agenda is coming there, but it’s coming very slowly. While our investments have been very heavy already early on, so now the challenge for us is that we need to wait until the world catches us up with this vision that alternative OSes are actually needed to create an alternative to Android.”

“I believe that after one year that would be much more, bigger interest towards us, but at the moment this interest is just emerging. Companies are just realizing that they really need an alternative. And we have interesting discussions with multiple companies but it’s still no concrete actions from the strategic investors in the industry.”

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PostPosted: Sunday, 22.Nov.2015 23:57    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Pretty predictable that it would happen which I think is good. However, it is essential that it is a non-US investor otherwise there is a high risk that the investor forces Jolla to include all the usual NSA data collecting capabilities that US operating systems are forced to comply to.
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 24.Nov.2015 17:03    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Open letter to Jolla community by Jolla chairman Antti Saarnio, see blog post:

Quote:
Open letter to Jolla community: through the tough times

Dear Jolla fans, community, customers and Jolla Tablet backers,

Less than two weeks ago, on Thursday November 12 I was presenting Jolla at the great start-up conference SLUSH 2015, telling about Jolla’s ups and downs, focusing on death valleys that we start-ups very often go through. I told the audience that so far Jolla has had two serious death valleys, one in the very beginning in 2013 when we lost our whole technology platform, the basis for our first smartphone. The second death valley was later in 2014 when the Jolla smartphone was not selling as anticipated and its technology was aging.

In my SLUSH presentation I also explained that the Jolla Tablet delays was Jolla’s third death valley, and that we are fully determined to overcome this challenge. The very next morning after SLUSH, I learned that our lead investor had withdrawn from the November financing round (total size of round around 10M€ investment), and that our biggest problem was in fact the company’s financing and survival overall. The Jolla Tablet is of course one important item here, but now the whole company’s future was at risk.

Last week we had to make the difficult decision to temporarily lay-off most of our people and apply for debt restructuring, which is a Finnish program similar to Chapter 11. These actions are hopefully only temporary as we aim to finalize the delayed financing round.

Jolla is now fighting for its survival. The key thing in this fight is that we succeed in our December financing round. If we do so, also the Tablet project can be resolved.

What happened with the Jolla Tablet project?

Many of you have been rightfully asking, where did our tablet money go? Below is an analysis of it in a simple graph. Big part of the tablet project went to Sailfish OS software development (more than 50% of project costs). As I have said in earlier blogs, hardware is the easy part, software is the king (and the beast).



As a whole the Jolla Tablet project got first three months delayed because of reasons explained in detail in our blog posts. The display issues and other component delivery challenges were in fact the primary reasons for the initial delays and increased the budget overdue. Although the tablet project has not been a profitable project for Jolla, it has been a key project to take Sailfish OS forward to a new level. Also I would like to highlight that the tablet project is not the reason for Jolla’s current financial challenges, but the delay of company’s overall external financing.

What happens next?

Meanwhile we are heavily working to get our funding in place in December we are also analyzing different alternatives to solve the Tablet project and compensate to our customers for the late or missing deliveries. Please stay tuned while we are figuring these solutions out. We can’t thank you enough for your patience already now.

Overall, as I also explained in a recent TechCrunch interview, the alternative OS is a really big and challenging agenda. But I still believe it is moving ahead, yet very slowly. The primary challenge for us is that our agenda might be somewhat forward leaning, and we need to wait until the world catches up with this vision that other OSs are heavily needed to create an alternative for Android. The interest for our agenda is just now emerging. I firmly believe that companies and consumers will soon realize that the world really needs options in mobile OSs. We’ve already had many interesting discussions with potential new partners about using Sailfish OS in their own projects. I’m looking forward to announcing the results of these talks soon.

Many of our dear community members have also asked how they could help Jolla to overcome this challenging time. I want to personally thank all of you for your continued support. Soon after we have overcome the first leg in this battle, we’ll come back to you about concrete ways to support us.

Your Jolla captain,
Antti

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PostPosted: Tuesday, 24.Nov.2015 18:36    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Fine. It's just that they still don't even mention (and therefore probably don't even think about) finally starting to support developers and making paid apps possible.

They keep whining about financial problems but they stubbornly refuse to do things which would be bringing them money. A closed circle.

Many people wrote on TJC that due to no support for paid apps on Sailfish OS they have to buy Android apps via Google Play - spending some €60 on average so far. As web stores usually take 30%, it means €20 paid by every user to Google rather than Jolla. €20 x 50,000 Jolla users = €1M.

Similarly, if they bothered to do just about anything about their TOH technology, it would be bringing them even more. Not necessarily creating and selling their own accessories, but why not e.g. even just certify/approve and sell via their store 3rd party TOH accessories, like TOHKBD - and obviously take some commission on it. I'm sure that the guy who created TOHKBD would be happy about it as making his product available via the official Jolla store would surely bring him much more sales, so he would happily give some part of his revenue to Jolla. And it would probably encourage other people to create other TOH accessories if they had a place to sell them. This might be giving Jolla further millions of Euros.

But no, they prefer to keep whining, and being ENTIRELY dependent on investors, who may withdraw their funding anytime and bring the whole company to the edge of catastrophy. And they are shocked that investors withdraw their support for a platform which has nearly zero native apps as Jolla makes it impossible to sell them, and hasn't been taking ANY advantage of its unique TOH technology (which was meant to be this platform's key differentiator) other than a few lousy back covers. Amazing.
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 09.Dec.2015 16:04    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

It is the end for Firefox OS in smartphones, see TechCrunch:

Quote:
Mozilla Will Stop Developing And Selling Firefox OS Smartphones

Farewell Firefox OS smartphones. Mozilla today announced an end to its smartphone experiment, and said that it would stop developing and selling Firefox OS smartphones. It will continue to experiment on how it might work on other connected devices and Internet of Things networks.

The announcement was made earlier today at Mozilla’s developer event in Orlando, “Mozlando“, and several people were tweeting the basics of the news. Now Mozilla has provided us with a full statement from Ari Jaaksi, Mozilla’s SVP of Connected Devices.

    “We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the Web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices. We will build everything we do as a genuine open source project, focused on user experience first and build tools to enable the ecosystem to grow.

    Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the Web, scaling from low-end smartphones all the way up to HD TVs. However, we weren’t able to offer the best user experience possible and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels.

    We’ll share more on our work and new experiments across connected devices soon.”

Firefox OS was first unveiled in 2013, with the aim of targeting the developing world and late adopters with low-cost handsets.

To differentiate from Android and iOS, Mozilla and its carrier partners focused on a web-first platform, with no native and only web apps. Sales, however, were always poor and the devices themselves failed to ignite a lot of consumer interest, and a number of OEMs cornered the market with a flood of cheap handsets. In a business that depends on economies of scale, it was a failure.

Mozilla has been on a streamlining track lately. Last week it announced that it would be looking for alternative homes for its Thunderbird email and chat client. The aim is for the company to focus more on its strongest and core products and reputation. Today the company also unveiled a new ad blocker, playing on its existing approach to privacy and stance on user tracking and cookies.

This is the third time that Ari Jaaksi leaves a mobile OS project: first Maemo/Meego, then WebOS, and now Firefox OS. He has just recently started in his job at Mozilla, see this article at The Register.

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PostPosted: Thursday, 10.Dec.2015 04:16    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I don't really understand this firefox OS news, and according to Fabien Cazenave, neither does media:

http://firefoxoscentral.com/2015/12/firefox-os-is-dead-firefox-os-is-a live/
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PostPosted: Thursday, 17.Dec.2015 20:53    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

According to Antti Saarnio on Mer Community Meeting (IRC), Jolla has received financing to continue development of Sailfish OS, see IRC log:

Quote:

We have received financing to continue Sailfish OS development from our investors. THIS means that reports about Jolla's death are greatly exaggerated Smile


A Blog Post is expected tomorrow sharing more information.
It is still not decided yet what will be done with the tablets:
- refund backers or
- continue with delivery, but including more delays

Decision-making meeting is planned "after Christmas".

Also,

Quote:
Intex project will continue, we have confirmed that yesterday and there will be new Sailfish phone coming.
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PostPosted: Thursday, 17.Dec.2015 22:04    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:
Intex project will continue, we have confirmed that yesterday and there will be new Sailfish phone coming.

This is great news.

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PostPosted: Friday, 18.Dec.2015 15:41    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Jolla is back in business according to Jolla chairman Antti Saarnio, see blog post:

Quote:
Jolla is back in business!

Dear Jolla fans, community, customers and Jolla Tablet backers,

Last time when I wrote here, we had just heard that our financing round had not succeeded as expected and realized that we were in a full on financial crisis situation. In other words, the whole continuation of the Jolla story was in a real jeopardy and unfortunately we had to make some drastic moves to handle the situation.

I was personally very happy to see so many community members and followers react to the dire situation we were in. My personal “we are fighting tweet” got 548 retweets and the wonderful initiative ISupportJolla gathered a lot of heartwarming comments and helped us fight the battle. I can’t thank you enough for the continuing support you have shown to us!

Now, it is my pleasure to share you really good news: we’re back from the death valley! We have just finished our latest financing round and secured solid new financing to the company. This investment enables the continuation of Sailfish OS development, the community activities and other company operations. It’s clear that this recent struggle hit us hard and left some battle wounds but most importantly this means that the development and life of Sailfish OS will continue strong. This alone is worth a celebration!

Our focus areas in the future

As already said many times before, we are very excited about Sailfish OS 2.0 and we’ve also seen that is has been taken on very positively by our current Jolla customers and also our business partners. We aim to continue the development of the OS, and scale up our resources as soon as possible to match the needs of all our customers.

On the partnering side our focus remains on the BRICS countries, concentrating strongly on India and Russia. India is a very exciting opportunity to us, since it is one of the booming smartphone markets with over 100 million new smartphone users every year (and growing). In Russia we’ve also seen a lot of interest towards Sailfish OS, and this is gradually moving into concrete projects – we can’t wait to tell you more about these projects.

Additionally we have a few other very interesting projects cooking up for Sailfish OS but more about these a bit later.

About the Jolla Tablet project

We receive daily more and more questions about the status of the Jolla Tablet and many people are seemingly frustrated – rightfully so. After I showed the cost breakdown for the Jolla Tablet project in my previous blog post, many have asked that why did we spend a big part of the tablet crowdfunding money on software development and not the tablet itself. To me this question as such does not make sense, since Sailfish OS is our product, our crown jewel, which we aim to make perfect for all of you – the tablet hardware is only a platform for the software.

As you all know, we were already late with this project when the financing struggle hit us, and unfortunately this unexpected delay in financing will clearly have an effect on the project. Now that the immediate financing challenge is resolved we will put our attention to the tablet project and develop a plan for dealing with it.

All of your cases will be dealt with as soon as we have the plan ready to be implemented. So hang in there, the answers are coming.

All in all, good news this time – and thanks again for your countless support and nice encouraging words along our journey. We’re in this together!

Happy Holiday Season for all!

Your Jolla captain,
Antti

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PostPosted: Friday, 18.Dec.2015 16:01    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Jolla has secured new financing, see press release (PDF):

Quote:
Jolla Ltd. closes its C investment round and secures new financing to the company

Helsinki, Finland, December 18, 2015 - - Jolla Ltd., the Finnish mobile company and developer of open mobile operating system Sailfish OS, today announced that it has closed its C investment round and has secured new financing to the company.

After delays in its latest investment round, the state of Jolla Ltd. is now looking more stable as it has secured financing for the company and has several licensing deals in the pipeline. The newly announced investment enables further development of Sailfish OS and also increases the company’s capability for further major licensing deals. Jolla is continuously looking for new industry partners to join the Sailfish OS agenda to bring new alternatives to the worldwide mobile operating system landscape.

Antti Saarnio, Chairman of the Board of Jolla Ltd. comments:

“A very important part in a start-up’s journey is going through death valleys. Most start-ups need great survival skills and determination and innovative solutions to succeed in the long run. Jolla has now successfully completed its investment round and is ready to continue to provide a true mobile OS alternative to the world. This latest death valley was the most difficult one but proved that highly motivated teams can win even when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges.“

“The mobile OS landscape is currently going through a very interesting phase. While many OS projects are fading, the need for alternative OS’s is strong. Without personal data privacy and security, it is hard to see that people, companies and governments could trust all their business, financial and personal information on mobile. We stand firm in the belief that the world needs an alternative mobile OS,” Saarnio continues.

Further licensing deals in the pipeline

While Jolla has already delivered Sailfish OS 2.0 to its own consumer base, it has also been actively developing its licensing business. The company is receiving growing interest from industrial partners for licensing Sailfish OS. Especially vendors providing security and privacy enhanced smartphones and solutions have shown great interest towards Sailfish OS.

”So far Jolla as a start-up has been solely carrying the high investment cost of the Sailfish operating system. It has been very challenging to finance this operation. We are now moving into a model where our partners in the BRICS countries, especially in Russia, India and China, will invest in the R&D of local market operations, while Jolla will focus more on the development of the core of Sailfish OS, producing Sailfish software releases, and supporting its licensees & app developers. Further licensing deals will be announced soon," Antti Saarnio continues.

While Jolla Ltd. and its investors have now agreed on the new financing, the company needs to adapt to the new situation, and is, therefore, working on a most efficient plan for the company and its partners for financing its longer-term operations.

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PostPosted: Thursday, 31.Dec.2015 18:32    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

New Year’s Greetings from Jolla, see blog post:

Quote:
New Year’s Greetings from Jolla!

Today it’s time to close 2015 and enter into a new exciting year. 2015 has been a memorable year for us, to say the least. Sailfish OS has matured substantially this year, evolving to Sailfish OS 2.0 and supporting multiple form factors. Even though we’ve said it often, now we really feel that the software is ready for scaling, and new partners are able to utilize it easily and powerfully in their projects. In the summer of 2015 we were honored to announce the first major licensing deal with India’s largest smartphone vendor Intex Technologies. We’re super excited about this partnership and look forward to making a new Sailfish OS powered smartphone available in India by spring 2016. As mentioned in Antti Saarnio’s previous post we also have some other exciting projects cooking and we can’t wait to tell you more about those as soon as they mature.

In November 2015 Antti Saarnio talked about the start-up life of Jolla at SLUSH 2015 explaining also the death valleys we’ve faced along the way. Right after the SLUSH event Jolla as a company had to face its hardest challenge so far, as we learned that our C financing round was hit by some unexpected delays, putting the entire continuation of the Jolla story in jeopardy. This naturally affected the whole operation of the company, as we also had to temporarily lay off a big part of our staff. Our dear community was also there to support us through the toughest times; check out e.g. the absolutely brilliant initiative ISupportJolla. Again, huge thanks for the support folks. It means the world to us!

In December our skillful team managed to solve the immediate financing struggle, and Jolla was back in business, meaning most importantly that Sailfish OS development can continue. The boat was of course hit hard by this, and now we’re in the process of getting operations up and running again.

Jolla Tablet project

During 2015 we also worked hard on the Jolla Tablet project, which was first introduced in November 2014. Our very talented team made a lot of progress in the project, and the first small batch of Jolla Tablets were shipped in the autumn to our Indiegogo contributors. The project altogether had some serious unexpected setbacks in the autumn, and we were forced to postpone the whole project schedule many times – these were communicated in several blog posts along the summer and autumn.

The serious financing challenge in November-December had unfortunately a bigger impact on this project than we could even anticipate. Now that our financial situation has improved and we are slowly starting to get back to the normal operations, we are actively planning the best way to finalize the project and to find a solution that fits to both all you dear Jolla Tablet contributors and to our future business plans, together with our investors.

We don’t have all pieces of the puzzle figured out just yet, but a few things are now certain: we are happy to say that we will be shipping an additional small batch of the Jolla Tablet to early backers during early 2016, targeting to send invitations during January. The bad news here is that we are not able to complete the production to fulfill all contributions. In other words, all of our backers will not get a Jolla Tablet. However, you can be sure you will not end up empty handed. We might even have some positive surprises in stock for you. But more on that will follow, feel free to speculate!

Moving to 2016

Year 2016 is definitely going to be a year of growth for Jolla in many ways. As said, we now need to get the operations running efficiently again to support all the current and upcoming customers of Sailfish OS, and also to answer to the needs of all new business partners. Next year we are looking to scale Sailfish OS into new levels through new partnerships – recently we have had a huge increase in the interest towards Sailfish OS licensing from different kinds of device vendors.

We are sure that the year 2016 will very interesting and successful for Jolla and Sailfish OS after such a challenging and stormy year as this one. Let’s make 2016 a great year for Jolla and Sailfish OS – together!

We wish all Jolla fans, followers and all others too Happy New Year!

On behalf of the whole Jolla team,
Juhani

--
Bent Laursen
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