Jolla Mobile CEO: “MeeGo is not dead”
MeeGo got a reprise last week, when Finnish start-up Jolla Mobile announced it’d be using the open-source OS for a smartphone push of its own, and now the corporate was talking more about Nokia, app strategy and dealing within the shadow of the N9. CEO Jussi Hurmola sat down with The Voicemail, confirming that Jolla’s public reveal were prompted partly by excitement round the MeeGo PR1.3 update to the N9 last week, but that Nokia had known for a while that its abandoned OS was about to be resurrected.
“Last week there has been a whole lot of news concerning MeeGo, there has been the 1.3 Nokia update, and other people were speculating “is this the top of the tale, the top of the road, will there be any hope to any extent further?” What we basically desired to say is that MeeGo is absolutely not dead” Hurmola told The Voicemail’s Stefan Constantine. “We got any such tremendous response from Twitter and the web community, after which even the standard media, that we had no choice but to compliment it.”
Nokia, meanwhile, had first heard about Jolla as portion of the Bridge program, which the corporate install to assist employees made redundant find new roles or establish start-ups. ”Within the [Bridge] program we had a chance to be open with Nokia with what we were doing,” Hurmola explained, “so it is not a surprise for them, and their response to our stuff isn’t a surprise to us. We were capable of cooperate in establishing this thing.” In fact, around 50-percent of the present Jolla workforce has come from Nokia, and “almost everybody” has Maemo, Moblin or MeeGo backgrounds.
However, that cooperation does not imply the Jolla phones gets the UI from the N9. ”Swipe is a Nokia device UI. We will do a brand new UI, and choosing MeeGo enables us to do something new” Hurmola says. “If we selected Android or something else we might be just following the UI it already has, so we can make a brand new UI. For sure we’re going to inherit the familiar and robust elements that MeeGo has as we all know it now, but we aren’t going to take advantage of the Nokia way, we shall go our own way … It’s inspired by many stuff. iOS, Android, N9… i myself just like the N9, so I’m influenced by this so i believe we’re influenced by N9 UI in our design.”
That software will run on hardware that’s still in preparation, with Hurmola coy on naming any specific partners. The team was visiting Chinese companies weekly for the past few months, exploring the way it will spend its “10m first round of funding. ”In order to make a smartphone or mobile product nowadays you will want chipset support and ODM support, and a few other companies” he says. “We’re already close in negotiations so as to communicate what partners we really use.”
“We do not wish to promise anything we can’t do”
The phone itself shall be revealed later this year, though is predicted to be the primary of several devices, equally shrouded in mystery. “Our principle is to watch out, we do not wish to promise anything we can’t do … Now we have various things on our drawing table these days, but we have to see how this primary one goes before we decide to future products.”
Why MeeGo and never Android? Jolla’s primary goal is to distinguish in an increasingly crowded marketplace, Hurmola says, and joining in with big-name Android OEMs like Samsung and Motorola – let alone Google itself with its Nexus series – is not the best technique to do this. Despite a heavily re-skinned interface, it isn’t ideal, he claims.
“There are a lot of people who do UIs on top of Android. It’s still a following game … primarily based on price cutting war. We wish to lead the technology, we wish to lead the UI. That’s our business.” Jolla is realistic in regards to the importance of apps, too, though Hurmola refuses to be drawn at the current paucity of third-party MeeGo software. ”I keep in mind that you can not seriously sell a smartphone in case you would not have sufficient application offering” he said. “I think we’re going to answer those questions, but we can answer them once we publish our product.”
As for whether Jolla Mobile hopes to recreate the success that – until recently – Nokia has had, Hurmola is realistic. “The team that we’ve got, we’ve built ecosystems, we’ve got built platforms, we now have built devices. Building an organization you are able to never repeat, it is often one more story.” Jolla wouldn’t necessarily be against working with Nokia again sooner or later he says, however, if the Windows Phone strategy stumbles.
“Creating an ecosystem is ready co-operating, it isn’t about going alone. What we’re doing is collecting partners, collecting effort about MeeGo and Jolla. I’m open to all co-operation. There are different sorts of co-operation needless to say, however the key’s to grow the ecosystem.”