The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Jolla will release It’s MeeGo based operating system in late November at the Slush conference in Helsinki. They are currently working together with five alliance partners that will be investing 200 million euros to ensure the success and expansion of the new ecosystem.
The ecosystem in smartphone industry is a classical example of a chicken and egg syndrome: Without apps there’s no users and without users there’s no apps. Attracting developers to create apps for a new platform without users is a tough cry, as there is no revenue to be created. That’s what we have seen with the Microsoft marketplace. Alltough there are now over 100 000 apps available, most of them are made by hobbyist with now real effort to make real revenue. As there is no revenue to be created, the developers don’t really focus on the quality of the apps, which is why most of the apps are just terrible.
So how can Jolla attract developers?
Couple months ago It announced that It’s MeeGo will run Android apps. Android is an operating system that runs in about 50% of the smartphones worldwide, so Jolla users can enjoy some quality apps from the the beginning.
So what Nokia has to do with the David of the smartphone industry?
My guess is pretty much. Jolla is comprised from former Nokia employees and although Nokia claims that they have nothing to do with Jolla, I would be surprised that being the case. Nokia’s Chairman of the board Risto Siilasmaa has constantly mentioned a “plan B” if Windows Phone bet fails, but has not mentioned anything specific. My guess is that the plan B is simply called Jolla.
There is definitely space for innovative mobile phone manufacturer that is based on Open Source and of which products are not boring enough to be bought from the local supermarket. (As is the case with Apple nowadays.) The market completely lacks a product for true pioneers that for past years have rooted for Apple. Jolla, which means skiff or small boat in Finnish is clearly sailing for that gap in the market and Nokia would be stupid not to jump on board.
So Nokia, is this your plan B?
(Edit: Date for Slush corrected)