Android is the world’s dominant mobile operating system. Part of the reason why Android has quickly become so dominant is because much of the source is open source, which means anybody can take this code and modify it to suit whatever their particular hardware or other requirements are. Not all flavors of Android have Google in them; there are some Android variants or forks that have none of Google’s services, as well as other versions that are embedded with Google’s applications and services. The second most popular mobile operating system is Apple’s iOS, as used on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. However, not everybody wishes to use one of these operating systems and there are many alternatives that have captured a small part of the market. These include Microsoft’s Windows Phone, BlackBerry’s BlackBerry 10 operating system, and Jolla’s Sailfish OS.
The Sailfish OS is a relatively new entry into the list of mobile operating systems and it aims to provide a secure, private operating system experience to customers. Unfortunately, the Finnish company behind the new operating system has been through some difficulties. It recently announced that it needed to secure additional funding, but yesterday (Friday the 18 December) it provided the industry with an update: it has successfully secured new financing for the company together with “several licensing deals in the pipeline.” Despite the distraction that running out of money must be, Jolla has continued to look for new partners to work with the new Sailfish OS as an alternative to Android and iOS.
Commenting on the news, Jolla’s Chairman, Antti Saarnio, said this on the matter: “A very important part in a start-up’s journey is going through death valleys… This latest death valley was the most difficult one… The mobile OS landscape is currently going through a very interesting phase… the need for alternative OS’s [sic] is strong… We stand firm in the belief that the world needs an alternative mobile OS.” One of the reasons why Jolla has struggled with releasing Sailfish to the public is because the business is bearing all of the costs of developing, refining and bringing the operating system to the market. The company hopes that these licensing deals will ease the financial burden of releasing the operating system: the new deals have the promise of businesses taking on the cost of local operations and Jolla concentrates on the core operating system. The press release mentions the Russia, India and China as three countries where it appears to be working on a local licensing deal.