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Taobao jolla tablet and os security [answered]

asked 2016-02-02 20:58:36 +0300

polarphone gravatar image

updated 2016-02-09 21:38:05 +0300

Once it was clear that I would get no tablet I decided to get a taobao tablet. This though might not be a good Idea.

Since no reputable company is behind the tablet can it be guaranteed that it can be used with e.g. internet banking? Without any spyware? For this reason will jolla ever open up their software store to taobao tablets?

Having read reviewjolla one more time and @tyler and @JSE answers I think this issue has basicly been answered. I'll however leave it open for afew days if someone with more insight into security of tablets from Taobao would like to comment or answer.

See comment by @jollailija below and read the interview at reviewjolla.. Security minded people should not use a device that cannot be certified.... See below.

Using software from not known trusted sources, eg bootloader operating system, is a no no today. Like flash tools from not trusted service at eg jolla, ubuntu, fedora, when also proper checking at the users side is done, automatic as with os updates, or manually with tools like md5sum, is dangerous and can introfuce trojans and other malware.

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The question has been closed for the following reason "the question is answered, an answer was accepted" by polarphone
close date 2016-02-06 22:41:48.404494



Answer: since the bootloader is unlocked, you can never know what kind of bloat- and/or spyware is installed on those. And about the SFOS install guide: you can't know if the materials they provide are legitimate.
Simply put: you can't have a secure Jolla Tablet from a third party. Case closed?

jollailija ( 2016-02-06 17:10:02 +0300 )edit

Thank you! Case is indeed closed. If we use linux/sfos for security reasons this is a no go.

polarphone ( 2016-02-06 22:32:45 +0300 )edit

4 Answers

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answered 2016-02-06 12:15:18 +0300

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

updated 2016-02-11 15:01:56 +0300

RussH gravatar image

I'm typing this on my Jolla tablet running SailfishOS from taobao. It's a model JT-1501 and shipped in the Jolla packaging. Clearly i'd rather have given my money to Jolla, but i wanted the tablet. From purchase to delivery in the UK was SIX DAYS. If anyone wants to replicate this, i can post the shop i used via yoybuy(an english language broker for taobao).

works perfectly, beautiful tablet.. really enjoying it.


I ordered this tablet - http://world.taobao.com/item/525258878357.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.dfarzg#detail

if you look at the page using google translate, you can see the option is 'Jolla' or 'Android'. Clearly - I chose Jolla (Sailfish OS). This choice is critical if you want it running SailfishOS! If you choose Android, the price is lower at 998 Yen - when you choose SailfishOS, it's 1298 Yen.

Now, as I can't read Mandarin, I used Yoybuy.com to order from Taobao. This service allows you to have it bought in China, and shipped to a local destination (optionally at this point you can have photos of the device / packaging sent to you) - and then you use Yoybuy to ship onwards.

The advantage of Yoybuy is that I can load credit from Paypal into them - therefore no need to use my credit card with (possibly suspect) chinese processors.

Finally - The total cost to me was as follows;

$212.79 Products fee: $32.01 International shipping: $21.28 Service fee: $1.31 Customs Fee: $8.02 Insurance Fee: $0 Storage Fee: $ --- Coupons Fee:

Cheaper shipping options were available.

Finally - I had a good experience here - but of course I make no guarantees that yours will be as good. YMMV.

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@RussH can you post a link? or send it to email? fake dot ae @ gmail


virgi26 ( 2016-02-06 12:20:37 +0300 )edit

There are only 32 GB models avaliable on Taobao?

Alex ( 2016-02-06 12:30:08 +0300 )edit

Could you please send a link to: cetiwiki@nincsmail.com? Thank you in advance!

martonmiklos ( 2016-02-06 14:33:58 +0300 )edit

I'm interested too. me (at) medesimo (dot) eu. Thanks!

g7 ( 2016-02-06 15:32:20 +0300 )edit

Just in case you don't get an alert to say I've updated it - then please note I've amended my original post with all the info. If there's anything else you want to know - just reply here or email me at russellh 'at' ysmail.net

Good Luck!

RussH ( 2016-02-06 16:37:20 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-02-02 21:40:22 +0300

tyler gravatar image

updated 2016-02-06 20:08:53 +0300

  1. Currently they are installed with android
  2. Some are pre-installed an edited android which the UI looks much like Sailfish OS
  3. Some are even not Jolla Tablet hardware: it's the "AiGuoZhe" Tablet of China, which looks quite like Jolla tablet
  4. Some stores allow to pre-order these days, and claim that they'll get and deliver a very small branch of Jolla tablet with Sailfish OS installed
  5. Some stores selling Android-based tablet will give you a guide of "how to install Sailfish OS/Android"

One person I know got a real Jolla Tablet from Taobao earlier (that store has been shunted down). It has the full-featured Sailfish OS(with Android support, exchange, etc.). He installed Android on that and then installed Sailfish back following the HOWTO guide.

... We'll see if the re-installed Sailfish OS can have Android support, tomorrow, if he'd like to tell me the result.

That's all I know... And, if you want to give a shot on Taobao, good luck.


The re-installed Sailfish OS can install Android Support from Jolla Store.

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Thank you. Still not convinced about sw integrity / security. I think this is a fundamental question since many of us use sfos for security reasons. Buying a tablet which cannot be trusted just for it? Interesting :)

polarphone ( 2016-02-02 21:45:01 +0300 )edit

So could you recommand an seller whos sells real Jolla Tablets with SFOS?

Alex ( 2016-02-04 19:24:01 +0300 )edit

Could you please send me that howto or a link to it?

Morpog ( 2016-02-04 19:59:44 +0300 )edit

On Taobao "Real" jolla tablets are announced some with android some with sfos. The ptoblem as I see it is that the qa that for e.g. jolla has to ensure a secure device is that to be trusted with these tablets? Can these devices be trusted? It would be nice if some person with insight into these matters would speak up. Im not a jolla employee simply a linux geek who wants the real thing. Sadly we will not get the tablet. Dearly wanted it for some development projects.

polarphone ( 2016-02-04 20:12:15 +0300 )edit

@tyler@polarphone If you are serious about security, you won't use the flash tool. How can you know if it's secure and there isn't any spyware there?

jollailija ( 2016-02-06 19:52:42 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-02-02 21:36:05 +0300

JSEHV gravatar image

updated 2016-02-02 21:37:08 +0300

More information regarding the Jolla Tablets in China can be found in this article/interview on ReviewJolla with Juhani Lassie (Jolla)

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This is a very interesting interview but do not really go into detailabout sw security. However want a serious discussion on security of tablets, risk for spyware, possibility of software update.

polarphone ( 2016-02-02 21:41:06 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-02-02 21:14:17 +0300

Mr.Pancake gravatar image

AFAIK, tablets there are preinstalled with Android.

P.S I still don't understand how there could be a hardware leak in huge amounts and no legal actions from Jolla.

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There are apparently tablets with sailfish os. Even preinstalled android that dont have a clear path from the producer, ie from an approved company can they be trusted? Will there be any necessary updates?

polarphone ( 2016-02-02 21:34:58 +0300 )edit

For more info on the tablet see recent interview at reviewjolla.com. Much enlightning.

polarphone ( 2016-02-02 21:37:02 +0300 )edit

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Asked: 2016-02-02 20:58:36 +0300

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Last updated: Feb 11 '16