Huawei’s ban could give new opportunities to Sailfish OS.
Google announced the decision to terminate the collaboration with Huawei, immediately as regards the launch of new devices, while for existing models security updates would be guaranteed.
This means that current Huawei customers will see the release of major updates interrupted — that is, new versions of Android -. The news quickly went around the world, in the context of greater tension and commercial competition between the US and China.
The news quickly went to involve the Community of Sailfish OS, the Finnish mobile operating system (of which I wrote here) that recently lived quietly in its European niche.
Immediately on Twitter, a lot of Tweets appeared that called for the idea of a Huawei-Jolla collaboration.
Among the most significant I indicate those of Stefano Mosconi (cofounder of Jolla):
and that of Eric Rawlins, who speaks instead of Nokia-Jolla:
(the tweet is even a premonitory tweet by Theodor Holm Nelson on Sailfish):
On the following day the hype increased, along with speculation about a possible, future passage of Huawei to Sailfish OS, but some sources at a certain point talk about the development of an OS inside the Chinese manufacturer.
In addition to that, the news arrives that Huawei is also banned from using SD cards (TheVerge). The company is also banned by the Wifi Alliance, minor damages because the Chinese company was prepared for this scenario, developing proprietary standards.
The scenario is good for Jolla
On May 24th Jolla herself points out her position, linking first to a TechCrunch article:
“A made-in-Europe non-Google-led OS might gain more ground among risk averse #governments and #enterprises — as a sensible hedge against Trump-fueled global uncertainty.”
Also: “Overall, there definitely has been increased interest towards #SailfishOS as a mobile OS platform in different parts of the world, partly triggered by the on-going political activity in many locations (…).” —
#Jolla co-founder and CEO Sami Pienimäki
Surely the “regionalistic” world scenario, where a US political decision can go to censor the use or not of an operating system, favors Jolla and its alternative mobile operating system: Sailfish OS.
Jolla rev.2 is already license-oriented
In fact, Jolla is a European company independent from gig companies, and from both American and Chinese political control, and has passed a few years ago to a License-oriented business model: the first two generations of Xperia devices, compatible with Sailfish X represent an interesting beta where the company has made its bones.
Today Jolla is ready and has a good experience in adapting its software for hardware manufacturers’ devices: Sony, thanks to its Open Device Program, was ready and had good medium / high end devices, the Xperia.
Android loses its virginity
In any case, the question of the sudden ban of Huawei by Android (Alphabet) has made “lose your virginity to Android”, in the sense that it is going to lose its image of “open source”, free, global mobile OS.
“Don’t be evil” is (was) the Google claim…
Hardware manufacturers have discovered that Android is a very Americanreality and under the thumb of the will of the Trump administration. Android could suddenly interrupt the supply of the Operating System, easily endangering the business of hardware manufacturers, which:
from the early ’10s, with the arrival of Android — which slavishly copied iOS — producers have become accustomed to not developing their (often ugly) operating systems internally.
Also many know that Android, at most, is “source open”, and only in part. The releases that we find installed in 90% of the phones is in fact proprietary software dependent on Google Play services.
Jolla Devices Staff Back to home blog
A new beginning (?)
The post-Trump world is regionalistic, meanwhile the desire for “alternative” privacy and mobile OS continues to increase in the mainstream world of smartphone users; Sailfish OS — with Jolla oy — today is one of the most ready OS to respond to this need.
The fact that, this it happened incidentally doesn’t matter (the pivot towards a license-oriented business was to not compete on hardware with the giants): today Jolla is able to collaborate with a Mobile Brand and adapt Sailfish X on new hardware in relatively short time.
“Today Jolla is able to collaborate with a Mobile Brand and adapt Sailfish X on new hardware in relatively short time.”
But this will happen if Jolla will be ready and will have the resources to make a new pivot (or just diversify) towards a much wider B2C market than the one involved so far.
P.S. This is a repost, read the original (and will be updated) article on Medium.