As some of you may remember, a few months back we reviewed and were quite impressed with Jolla’s first smartphone and new, open-source operating system Sailfish (for those that don’t remember, you can check it out here).
The company rebuilt itself from the ashes of Nokia and Meego, launched a phone that was actually pretty decent and developed an interesting OS that was quick, intuitive and enjoyable to use. While the phone may not have sold quite as well as the firm would have liked, it appeared that things were looking up for the company which was in the process of launching Sailfish 2.0, its second, updated version of its slick OS.
It had also managed not one but two successful crowdfunding campaigns across both Kickstarter and Indiegogo for a new Jolla tablet which looked like an interesting piece of tech and certainly a promising, and relatively low-price alternative for Apple’s iPads and the plethora of Android tablets in the market. That tablet was due to launch in the final quarter and we at Geekpower were eager to get our hands on it. As with almost every crowdfunded item, there were the usual delays and minor hardware changes, but all the noises come out of Jolla were hopeful and indicated that everything was on track for delivery before the year’s end, or at the very latest early in 2016.
Unfortunately, it would appear that things have taken a slightly less positive turn this week. The company has announced that it has been forced to apply for the Finnish equivalent of Chapter 11 and seek legal protection as it undergoes debt restructuring after its lead investor withdrew from this month’s funding round. As part of this process, the firm has also had to release the majority of its workforce, in a process that must be eerily familiar to many of them, who were previously employed by Nokia.
In a remarkably open post on their blog, the firm have indicated that, despite the funds raised through crowdsourcing, and other means, the development of the Jolla tablet is actually running at a loss of well over $1.5M, but it has stated that this is not the reason for the latest restructuring move which is instead blamed on the delays in external financing.
It’ll likely be some weeks before we know the fate of the firm and its new and interesting OS, but we here at Geekpower certainly hope they can find some solution that allows the company to continue their efforts to challenge iOS and Android rather than going the way of WebOS, Symbian and Meego.