Following Jolla's "The Other Half" Sailfish OS-based smartphone launch last week, the Finnish smartphone startup has further plans for its Sailfish OS - to reach a critical mass. As Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki told Finnish Talouselämä Magazine, Jolla is going to let individual users install the Sailfish OS on Android devices that they already have. In an interview, Pienimäki said "That is the plan. We are on device business and OS business. It is fairly easy to install the OS on Android devices" and continued that "there is no such culture in these parts of the world [Finland], but there are people that are installing new operating systems on their devices. In China it is mainstream."
Pienimäki also unveiled how such an upgrade path for Android users could look like: "For us it is a possibility to distribute our operating system especially in China. There are websites that already distribute [OS] software and the Chinese customers are doing it so we don't have to teach them. We just have to get Sailfish to those websites - and to make sure that Sailfish will run on different kind of Android devices."
That's indeed an interesting idea, to distribute precompiled upgrade packages for certain Android devices. Let's say a Sailfish OS package for HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Motorola Moto X or whatever Jolla wants to address. Basically, it would be a kind of professionalized Xda-Developers where the owner of the OS offers the upgrade packages, not the developer community.
As a matter of fact, that's an interesting idea anyway and something I suggested some time ago already, that HTC should use and support Sailfish OS, instead of working on its own proprietary "HTC China OS".
When it came to Jolla's business model, Pienimäki unveiled that the company seems to plan to follow the Google way, by offering the OS for free but making money out of the eco system: "We won't get money by selling the OS. It has to be something else on top of that. It can be applications, services or advertising. Whatever is their revenue model, we should be able to get a slice of that."
However, unlike Google, Jolla isn't owning a profitable search business and even the maps, used on Jolla's first smartphone, were licensed from HERE (aka Nokia). So it's questionable what exactly Pienimäki means when he says "applications, services or advertising".
Cheers ~ Arne