With the smartphone OS market nearly fully sewn up between Google and Apple, what’s another working system maker to do? Take an curiosity in function telephones, that’s what.
Immediately Jolla, the Finnish maker of an Android various known as Sailfish, has introduced v3 of its platform. At a press convention on the Cell World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona it’s introduced what it describes as a “completely new section” for the OS concentrating on the “new period of extremely succesful 4G function telephones”.
“What units Sailfish OS aside from its rivals within the function cellphone section is the aptitude to do low-spec configurations and nonetheless run chosen Android apps,” mentioned CEO Sami Pienimäki in an announcement.
He additionally flagged up Sailfish’s means to deal with Voice over LTE — claiming the tech is “more and more vital for the brand new period” of function telephones
Jolla says Sailfish OS will “mature” to Sailfish 3 throughout Q3 this 12 months, so in the present day’s information is only a preview of what’s coming.
In line with Gartner there have been lower than 1.5M non-Android, non-iOS smartphones offered in 2017, which it mentioned quantities to a zero.1 per cent share of the worldwide market — down from ~11.3M in 2016, when different OSes took a zero.Eight per cent share. So the Sailfish maker’s curiosity in diversifying into old fashioned cell handsets isn’t as leftfield because it maybe appears.
Earlier this month the analyst additionally reported a decline in global smartphone shipments in This autumn 2017, the primary time it’s reported the market shrinking because it started monitoring all of it the best way again in 2004.
Characteristic cellphone house owners staying with dumbphones somewhat than upgrading to a smartphone was one of many causes cited to elucidate the drop in gross sales within the vacation quarter. One other analyst, IDC, has additionally reported featurephones growing their market share in Africa between 2016 and 2017.
There’s not but quite a lot of element about what different new options are incoming for Jolla’s platform by way of Sailfish three however it mentioned it’ll present “full help for regional infrastructures together with regular releases & OS upgrades; companies to ascertain unbiased R&D facilities; native internet hosting;
coaching; and a versatile function set to help particular buyer wants”.
Safety can also be a continued focus, with the Finnish agency touting “prolonged security measures and choices” — with the goal of creating it “a strong choice for numerous company options”.
Since shuttering its client play, and focusing on a b2b (and enterprise to authorities) mobile OS licensing business, Jolla has been successful pals in Russia — the place its platform gained certification for company and authorities use again in 2016.
At last year’s MWC Russia OEM INOI introduced the primary Sailfish system for the market, with Jolla’s native licensee, Open Cell Platform, trumpeting the smartphone as “completely Google-free!”
Right here at MWC 2018, INOI has introduced a brand new Sailfish-powered pill, in each Eight-inch and 10-inch measurement configurations, which is primarily focused at Russian company prospects.
Jolla mentioned it’ll even be making Sailfish out there for the brand new Sony XperiaTM XA2, additionally introduced on the present, by way of the Sony Open Gadget Program. (Although people desirous to run Sailfish on that system might want to buy a license by way of the Sailfish X program.)
Planet Computer systems’ crowdfunded Gemini PDA — a cell system that packs a full measurement keyboard — can also be being demoed working Sailfish right here on the present, although once more there’s no agency date on wider future availability for the OS’ system help.
Jolla added that Sailfish is now formally supported on greater than a dozen units, rising when you rely group porting efforts.
At last year’s MWC Jolla introduced inking a licensing settlement with a Chinese language consortium which it mentioned deliberate to take a position $250M in growing a Sailfish ecosystem for the nation.
Discussing this, a spokesman advised us China pilot undertaking was accomplished final 12 months, including that the primary industrial merchandise are anticipated to succeed in the market by the tip of this 12 months.
Final 12 months Jolla’s chairman Antti Saarnio additionally mentioned the enterprise was anticipating to grow to be worthwhile in 2017. Nonetheless Jolla’s spokesman advised us that whereas the corporate made a revenue in “a number of” months of the 12 months, on a yearly stage it stays depending on “some investor cash”.
It closed out its final tranche of funding, a $12M Collection C spherical, in May 2016, after initially struggling to lock the funding down in time.
“With the strong buyer tasks we now have in Latin America, Russia, and China the corporate might be worthwhile on a month-to-month stage by the tip of this 12 months, and onwards,” he added.