Jolla nabs €200m funding, preps MeeGo OS for licensing in mid-2013

The OS, codenamed 'Sailfish,' will be the centre of a new Hong Kong-based ecosystem alliance, according to the company, which has picked a datacentre in the region to support its plans.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Finnish smartphone start-up Jolla Mobile has secured €200m in funding to feed its aim of releasing a MeeGo-based mobile operating system.


The funding will come from a number of partners in Jolla's newly established ecosystem alliance, the company announced on Tuesday. While Jolla is yet to name the partners in question, it has said they will include chipset vendors, OEMs, ODMs, operators and retailers and that the alliance will be based in Hong Kong. Jolla itself will contribute €10m to the funding pot, Jolla's chief Jussi Hurmola told the Wall Street Journal.

Jolla, formed by a group of ex-Nokia workers, confirmed a separate version of its forthcoming Meego OS, codenamed 'Sailfish', will be ready to be licensed by device makers, design houses and service companies by spring 2013.

Jolla has also selected a new datacentre in Hong Kong to support its plans to rapidly build up its ecosystem. The facility, to be housed at Hong Kong's Cyberport facility, will host Jolla's data, productisation facilities, collaboration services and cloud services, the company said.

Focus on the Chinese market

The investment in Hong Kong continues Jolla's focus on the Chinese market, where it also intends to expand its research and development capabilities.

In July, Jolla signed a distribution deal with Chinese retailer D.Phone for its Sailfish-based phones, but the company is also looking to capitalise on the hunger in China for homegrown innovation beyond the country's smartphone production industry. Hurmola told ZDNet in August that he believed there was a "pressure in Chinese industry to create something inside China" and that the company is hoping to feed that.  

Hurmola is also positioning Jolla's OS as a choice for phone manufacturers that is unencumbered by the patent litigation affecting the wider mobile industry. 

The recent ruling against Samsung in its patent war with Apple benefits Jolla, Hurmola believes, "because we are based on an independent operating system (MeeGo) and we are implementing our new UI, not copying the others".

"The users of Jolla software and devices along with licensees won't be suffering from these IPR [intellectual property rights] issues," he added.

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