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Another Kickstarter?

asked 2017-11-08 21:04:14 +0200

devarshi84 gravatar image

Will Jolla be interested and supportive to somebody interested in a kickstarter campaign for a smartphone with Jolla OS?

How interested will the company be in developing the OS for a High spec Smartphone with good specs?

Also, How do the users look at such an opportunity?

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While I'd be thrilled to have yet another phone with SFOS on the market (simply to reach more customers/developers), I doubt that going high-end hardware-wise makes much sense. How much would you pay for a phone that, in comparison, lacks quite a few features? What good is the fastest CPU if you can't reliably sync notes, calendars and contacts? What good are revolutionary hardware features if the OS doesn't support them?

I'd rather go with a medium spec phone that can sell at about €300 or below and add something to the mix that's different from current SFOS hardware (screen size, rugged phone, hardware keyboard, strange colors, extra long battery lifetime,... I have no idea).

ossi1967 ( 2017-11-09 09:24:17 +0200 )edit

Agree with @ossi1967 Mi phones in India cost 8K-12K (€100 - €160) and are selling like hot cakes. I would love to have a phone like Redmi 4 with official Sailfish OS (not the community port primarily because I will not be able to use it as primary phone - lack of popular native apps and no android support). I do not want a phone like aquafish because the release cycle is governed by the phone manufacturer and not by Jolla. I'm hoping Jolla would expand the licensing deal to other cheaper phones.

ashwin_kp ( 2017-11-09 11:59:55 +0200 )edit

Also completely agree with @ossi1967. The niche of SailfishOS is not high-end Smartphones. As it already was suggested in other threads, the product range of bq Smartphones would be a good fit spec-wise and price-wise (~160-300€).

Spark ( 2017-11-09 14:39:06 +0200 )edit

If anybody is willing to try this, there is only one reliable way in my opinion. To get a working device, one should use as many hardware parts, that are known to work right now, as possible. Jolla will not be able to develop the necessary code for every new piece. I think, that Sailfishs chances to survive are better with less different hardware. So Jolla can concentrate on adding new functionality and not on supporting new hardware.

silmoc ( 2017-11-09 19:37:01 +0200 )edit

5 Answers

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answered 2017-11-09 10:42:43 +0200

L_A_G gravatar image

The only problem with this is that Jolla is officially out of the hardware business due to the disaster that was the manufacturing of the tablet and has now completely focused on the OS side of the business. Only way we're going to see a SailfishOS device on kickstarter/indiegogo is if a hardware vendor decides to do this and just licenses SailfishOS from Jolla.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is impossible by any stretch of the imagination. There was that recent case where some chinese guys who put what essentially amounted to a bootleg Jolla tablet with officially licensed SailfishOS on kickstarter (or was it indiegogo?) and were successful in getting it funded. If that's successful and they actually get devices delivered (which shouldn't be too hard seeing how the hardware and software was done before the campaign started) that may spur on other people to try to do the same.

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if i remember right it was talked about a split into jolla software and a hardware divisiok. then again there was never heard a word again about the latter.

what i think would be great would be an old design with improved hardware. a mid range phone with an old and loved look. like the n9, a moto g3 or the jolla with different then the original hardware. but i dont know about the rights for these designs- what would be needed to use them.

kaktux ( 2017-11-09 17:04:33 +0200 )edit

@kaktux The hardware division is long gone so no hope in getting a new device from Jolla themselves. As for the N9 design, Nokia/Microsoft/HMD has obviously gotten rid of the tooling a long time ago and even if whoever owns the IP can be persuaded to give it away the costs of re-creating the tooling are obviously going to be way too expensive for a kickstarter campaign. Only way Jolla could afford the tablet was that they got their hands on a mostly completed design, which however needed a number of changes due to a number of components like the screen going out of production and no suitable replacements existing.

To put the cost into perspective, somebody recently put up a campaign for new Amiga 1200 cases, which are made up of a number of relatively simple plastic pieces made based on an existing design, and that had a minimum funding goal of 125.000€ due to having to make brand new molds and that didn't even include new key caps. That was a separate campaign with a minimum funding goal of 102.000$.

L_A_G ( 2017-11-09 18:27:16 +0200 )edit

@L_A_G: For reference here's the indiegogo campaign with youyota 2-in-1, the relaunch of the former Jolla Tablet design.

DrYak ( 2017-11-10 12:26:53 +0200 )edit

And regarding tooling :

On the other hand, Nokia has the network and the war chest to eventually manage to successfully regrow a hardware manufacturing capability.

So maybe in 5-10 years, there could be again Nokia-made smartphone (as opposed to the currently upcoming 3rd party Asian-made android-phone with a licensed Nokia logo on them).

And SFOS could be a distinguishing feature to make Nokia's future product stand apart no-name android-phones. (Just the same way Samsung is playing with their Tizen cousin to try to make some phones different)

DrYak ( 2017-11-10 12:37:44 +0200 )edit

@DrYak Fat chance of Nokia "re-growing" any phone manufacturing. The whole phone side of the business was sold to Microsoft and subsequently either shut down (smartphones) or sold (dumbphones) to HMD Global, who are owned and funded by Foxconn, i.e those "3rd party asians". As for the remaining Nokia phone factories, which were all in the far east, Microsoft sold them to FIH Mobile, which is a direct subsidiary of Foxconn.

Also, the lack of success with the original Jolla phones and relative success of the current Android Nokia phones goes to show that there definitely is a market for Android phones and that having an alternate OS isn't all that appealing to the masses. People on the whole simply don't care about being different if being the same is good.

So to put this simply: The ship has sailed (pun intended) on any Nokia SailfishOS device and Nokia devices not made in the far east. It's that simple.

L_A_G ( 2017-11-10 13:29:45 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-11-10 08:38:16 +0200

Cryx gravatar image

Compared to other actual devices the Jolla C is a slow phone, but works. What Sailfish OS eed os a loser range of user, and the best chance for this is a low or/an mid budget device.

Nevertheless I would be interested in a high end device - or at least one with a good camera. Pictures taken with my Jolla C aren't worth to be compared with Pictures from my Lumia 950.

And yes, the more was the Indiegogo campaign for the YouYota Sailfish Tab - I'm waiting for the delivery...

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The Jolla C is an okee phone, escpecially the speech quality is amazingly great. Being able to make phone calls in a noisy server room is something even high-end flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S models fail sometimes!

But yeah, the camera is an overpriced light-sensor, in other words, utter crap.

If you want a decent phone with good camera, try the Sony Xperia X! Although with Sailfish X you only get 16 Mpixels out of the 23 Mpixels possible, but still get very good results IMO.

Venty ( 2017-11-10 10:00:28 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-11-09 16:48:39 +0200

ghling gravatar image

Of course, it's ultimately up to Jolla to announce any interest. However, having just adopted the Xperia X and tailored SFOS to this (and similar) hardware, I can't imagine Jolla is keen on working on yet another device adaptation. They are still busy getting the not yet available features on the Xperia X to work and fixing bugs. Once that base is fully functional, they probably will add support for more Sony devices as this means only slight to moderate changes (which some parts of are currently already implemented by the community).

As already mentioned, Jolla abandoned the hardware sector and focused on the development of SFOS only. So it would be up to a third party to crowdfund, develop and manufacture another SFOS device. And I'd suspect Jolla don't have much resources available to adapt SFOS to that device due to the reasons mentioned above, so that must be done by this party as well.

While having different devices to choose from and a "pure" SFOS device (meaning not a converted Android device where SFOS still relies on some Android parts / drivers etc) of course would be great, I don't see another kickstarter succeed in the current situation. Most of the people interested in a new device most likely just got an Xperia X and don't want to replace it already.

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There's also another limitation for "pure" SFOS devices (with no single Android part, à la Purism's Librem 5) :

Current Android app support solution do rely on android APIs being available in the Linux kernel.

And although there's a significant croud of "I viscerally hate Android and don't want it near my phone" users gathering to SFOS, completely ignoring the networking effect of an app ecosystem would be foolish for any new player in the smartphone field (as painfully discovered by Microsoft).

(Although, in Microsoft's case, they were actually aware of the app ecosystem problems. They just weren't able to achieve any Android app compatibility layer and WSL on Windows 10 is what useful stuff they managed to salvage of this failed attempt).

DrYak ( 2017-11-10 12:33:07 +0200 )edit

I'm not against the AlienDalvik Android support in SFOS, I totally agree with you that something like this is needed so appeal to users. Even I rely on some Android Apps on my device.

I referring to another aspect: Even when you run SFOS on the Xperia X, you still have a lot of Android-related stuff running on the device in the background (bootloader?, definitely drivers and other stuff). From my understanding, SFOS simply uses abstraction layers to run on a basic Android environment. While this works well, it's far from a really open system. To exaggerate this to make my point more clear: It's like running Linux inside a VM on your Windows OS because you don't like to use (or even distrust) Windows.

I'm totally aware of the issues in the mobile market with proprietary blobs and de-facto monopolies where you have to use what you get from the manufacturers (and sadly can't expect to get proper driver support for your system. Yes, I'm looking at you Qualcomm and Broadcom). Still this is a really unsatisfying situation if you dislike Android (like I do).

ghling ( 2017-11-10 14:25:00 +0200 )edit

@ghling :

Yes, indeed to ease the speed of adapting to a new devices Sailfish OS (as well as Ubuntu Touch, BTW) rely on a piece of abstraction written by Jolla called "libhybris". This thing enable you to run drivers normally designed for Android and use them for a full blown GNU/Linux distro (e.g.: Android driver rely on Google's own homegrown Boinic C-library, instead of the usual GlibC, etc.)

(The boot loader it self doesn't have much to do with android. It's just a small piece of code that loads whatever linux kernel+initrd is on the boot partition, optionally checks its signature (if the bootloader isn't unlocked) or displays a warning (if the bootloader is unlocked), and then boots into it).

The more correct Windows metaphor is : You're using "Wine" to run some drivers because the hardware manufacturer produces only Windows drivers and you don't have the resources to reverse engineer and implement opensource drivers your self. NDISWrapper use to be such a stack.

The trust limit doesn't extend to Android. You're NOT running Android underneath the hood. You're only running the drivers that would normally go inside an Android installation and use libhybris to run them on your own full blown GNU/Linux OS.

So, if you don't trust Google to not put inside Android spying code that data mines the hell out of you, the user, for their gain : with Sailfish OS (and any other libhybris OS) you're safe. (Just like you don't need to trust Microsoft when using NDISWrapper).

But if you don't trust the hardware manufacturer not to have horrendously exploitable bugs in their blobs : Ooops. You're still running the same whole pile of crap from Qualcom, as opposed to the some Freedreno opensource driver (the same way that with NDISWrapper, you'd still run crappy code from Broadcom instead of some opensource driver running on the mac80211 stack).

DrYak ( 2017-11-10 18:58:47 +0200 )edit

Also, there's the separate elephant in the room : specially with Qualcom chip, the baseband modem is integrated into the main chipset, and act like a sort of northbridge to the chip. Meaning that code on which you legally cannot have control (as you don't have a license for the LTE frequencies yourself) and that is provided by the modem manufacturer and the ISPs, can potentially have access to your RAM.

And here the situation looks rather sad :

  • Qualcom is dominating the hardware market.
  • MediaTek isn't any better.
  • Intel has completely exited the market
  • AMD hasn't completely entered the ARM market, and aims at servers anyway.
  • At least Texas Instrument had good mainstream linux support (except for the GPU part by PowerVR) but by now the chips are starting to show age (there are no 64bit OMAPs).
  • Nvidia isn't targetting smart phone with their Tegra, and not all of them are supported by the opensource Nouveau
  • i.MX6 and i.MX8 seem to be the only solution deemed acceptable by Purism, but they performance is lack-luster compared to current phone.
DrYak ( 2017-11-10 19:48:08 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-11-11 17:24:38 +0200

jsommer gravatar image

I love Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It's a great opportunity to fund innovations.

I agree, that is essential for SailfishOS to be available preinstalled on mobile devices. I'm afraid, that the strategic decision of Jolla to focuss the business on licensing the operation system was a fault.

Saulfish X is still an after market product. It's perfect for developers, entrepreneurs, journalists and protential partners to check out this great OS, but it won't scale.

I'm an entrepreneur and investor and plan to start a project for a Sailfish OS device, but it's really hard to get in contact with Jolla. I'll post another at this board.

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answered 2017-11-11 20:22:09 +0200

erdinch gravatar image

for some reason, hardware is not profitable .

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It is not profitable in nieche market numbers. Component prices tend to start at 10k units minimum, anything less and you are basically paying extra for bothering the manufacturer with small fry...

Kao ( 2017-11-12 00:27:38 +0200 )edit

Youyota reports, that it starts at 3k. Other examples of small batches are the Lightphone, Previo, Uniherz(Jelly), Pebble.The best example for my theses is Sentio. They have a very interesting software, but make the money with teh hardware for the software. A negative example is Cyanogen Inc. They had the same business model as Jolla an run into insolvency, although some Smartphone vendors shipped models with their operation system. But Cyanogen Inc. made a further failure: The usp of their operation system was the respect of the user's privacy. So the os came without Goolge services. However Cynagen has started a cooperation with Microsoft and included heir services like Cortana. With this surveillance service, they did lost their target group.

jsommer ( 2017-11-12 03:17:03 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2017-11-08 21:04:14 +0200

Seen: 1,125 times

Last updated: Nov 11 '17