Jolla clarifies position on “developer mode” after misinterpretation of interview comments
A mistranslation of a Finnish interview of Jolla's CEO Jussi Hurmola resulted in a great deal of FUD last week, when comments about Jolla's market positioning were taken to mean that Jolla devices would be locked down, with customers unable to flash the device or replace the kernel. Most of the furor stemmed from a SlashGear report on the IBTimes article that extrapolated from the translated comments a bit farther than was likely justified, claiming that Jolla planned “to lock down its MeeGo phone.” The original IBTimes article has since been updated with clarifications from a Jolla spokesperson. (The SlashGear report has not): “There were a couple of quotes from Jussi Hurmola about the product. I think they were translated from Finnish to English and misunderstood, or then the developer edition was left out. […] We are however planning on creating a development version of the phone for open source community, those interested in Linux and open systems and for partners. […] Jolla is going to release a developer edition of the device which gives full access to linux hackers and technology enthusiasts. Jolla will fully support the communities and be part of them, and wants them to be part of creating and developing our device. […]”
Based on discussions this editor has had with the kind folks over at #jollamobile on Freenode, readings of the various interviews and reports on Jolla, and simple consideration of the people involved in the company, an iOS scenario isn't likely to be something we need to worry about. The developer edition comments seem to point to something along the lines of what's available on the N950, and not that the consumer device will be bootloader locked into oblivion.
What it boils down to, though, is that Jolla has not made any official announcements about the hardware products they plan to bring to market or the Jolla OS that will run on them, and extrapolating any grand conclusions about what they will and will not do based on so little information is an unproductive (if interesting) game. Only facts can really clear the FUD.
Forbes editorial sees Jolla positioning as “the Ferrari of the smartphone world”
An editorial in Forbes last week suggests that Jolla could carve out a niche, without having to have significant market share: “As Ferrari show, it’s not always about volume, it’s about having something desirable and relatively unique. If your product brings in more money than it costs, and you can develop the next models with that surplus, then you have a sustainable business. With some decent strategy and a fair wind, I can see Jolla emerging as one of the leading ’boutique’ smartphone manufacturers in 2013.”
The mobile device market is in need of some disruption, and Jolla is in a position to provide that disruption where Nokia failed. Given the small size of the company (relative to the typical cellular giants) financial success won't be as volume dependent as it would be for larger companies, but perceptions in the tech industry carry a lot of weight with a platform's viability, and the focus there tends to lean towards units shipped and “app” counts rather than innovation or quality. In this editor's opinion, both iOS and Android have grown very stale and the sort of product a light, agile company like Jolla can provide has the potential to resonate with a lot of consumers. Either way, with Firefox OS and BlackBerry 10 in the mix it should be interesting times ahead for the mobile world.
In this edition (Download)…
- Front Page
- Jolla clarifies position on “developer mode” after misinterpretation of interview comments
- Forbes editorial sees Jolla positioning as “the Ferrari of the smartphone world”
- TwimGo updated to 3.2
- Fix long-term bug in Maemo Scratchbox environments
- Minutes from Maemo Community Council meeting
- Firefox OS running on Nokia N9 with help from Nitdroid
- In the Wild
- Jolla signs distribution agreement with Chinese retailer D.Phone