To better understand the project, a digression on what are Jolla and Sailfish OS is necessary:
Jolla Oy is a Finnish startup founded in 2013 by a group of Nokia engineers that refused to Join Microsoft, and continued the development of Meego, renamed as Sailfish OS.
Initially the business model was market oriented (B2C), and Jolla was designing both hardware and software of its first devices: the Jolla Phone or J1, the Jolla Tablet and the Jolla C “limited edition”.
After a few struggles in 2015, the startup downsized the staff and began to focus only on the development and porting of Sailfish OS, preparing its pivot toward a B2B business model.
Actually, Jolla is an experienced startup developing and licensing Sailfish OS across some big B2C customers, with some government: Rostelecom, the russian government and Jala (Bolivia) are the actual main customers.
Meanwhile, Jolla still maintained a version of Sailfish for its community, but no longer investing in adv and branding to individuals.
A quote from official Jolla site:
Jolla, the mobile company from Finland, is the developer of open mobile operating system Sailfish OS. Our company was born in 2011, with roots in Nokia and MeeGo. We believe in openness and independence in everything we do. We believe that the mobile OS landscape needs alternatives to current dominating operating systems, and our mission is to deliver on that belief.
Our crown jewel, Sailfish OS is an independent, scalable and customizable mobile OS, which we develop and offer for various kinds of licensing customers. Sailfish OS is suitable for governmental needs, corporations, and any environment which needs a customized, privacy enhanced mobile OS solution. Sailfish OS, with its smooth user experience and scalable technology is perfect for devices ranging from smart watches to television size screens, and to IoT solutions.
The first Sailfish OS mobile product, the Jolla smartphone, was first introduced in November 2013 and has been available throughout Europe, Hong Kong SAR, China mainland, India, and Russia. In November 2014 Jolla introduced the Jolla Tablet project, and in 2016 one of India’s largest smartphone companies Intex Technologies launched the Aqua Fish smartphone running Sailfish OS. Sailfish OS is also used in the Turing phone, and it has been successfully ported to dozens of other mobile phones through our developer community. Currently Sailfish OS is the only mobile operating system offering its customers a regional licensing model. In 2016, after a thorough review of several open source based options, the Ministry of Russia publicly expressed support for Sailfish OS, which was chosen as the platform for further development.
DIT – doing it together is in our hearts. Our developer and fan communities are an integral part of the way we operate, how we develop things and move forward.
Jolla Ltd. has offices in Helsinki and Tampere, Finland and in Hong Kong.
‘Jolla’ means a small dinghy in Finnish and it is a symbol for our agility.
Since 2016 the startup has turned in the direction of a business model based on the sale of software alone and giving up on developing its product hardware. In 2017, thanks to an agreement with Sony, it released the Sailfish X release, compatible with Sony Xperia X devices.
Empatizing with newbie user
There wasn’t clear information about the smartphone effectively available: technical data, and other info. Also, devices that have not reached the market like the Turing phone, or the INOI R7, available only in Russia were listed on official site.
An average, european prospect coming from Android or iOS could be easily confused and discouraged from switching to Sailfish. The installation of Sailfish OS X on SONY Xperia itself, requires a series of steps from unlock to flashing, even with terminal, and this is a pain for non-savvy users.
When Jolla made its pivot towards a Software-Only business, closing the smartphone store, a few months later, in late 2017 Jolla-Devices.com was born. At that times there were already older and more established blogs talking about Jolla, even from the very beginning, but most of them were organised as national-fan community…
Jolla-Devices was the onliest focusing on hardware, with a more wide european style, and developed like a Lean Startup.
Initially structuring itself as a directory of official devices, with technical data, the site was structured during 2018 as a complete blog, with a news section constantly updated.
A very active Twitter channel has joined the blog, always since the beginning of 2018.
Since October 2018, an ecommerce function has gradually been added to the blog, initially linking listings on ebay, until the creation of the Woocommerce STORE, published in the subdomain store.jolla-devices.com
In particular, by summer 2019, the potential of Youtube has emerged: unboxing videos and tutorials have been published periodically.
Jolla-Devices was developed like a Lean Startup, using the Lean Startup method: build, measure, learn cycle in particular.
Before and after every update cycle, there is an eye on data analytics, while several Twitter polls have probed the community’s ground regarding the direction of the topics to be discussed.
The limited size of the Sailfish niche has allowed good coverage, at least for the most active users.
The same website UI have evolved during the time, with several updates that have gradually improved, or simplified the site.
To complete this reading, the best thing is to visit the real Jolla-Devices Blog website, and discover Sailfish OS, the true alternative mobile OS.