Jolla ends tablet project, plans refunds

Jolla, the Finnish mobile company that developed the Sailfish operating system (OS), is ending the crowd-funded Jolla Tablet programme and said it now has a refund process in place for backers that do not end up receiving a tablet.

The Jolla Tablet was developing using crowd-sourced contributions raised from Indiegogo campaigns in 2014 and 2015. Antti Saarnio, Jolla's co-founder and chairman of the board, said in a blog post that although "things looked very bright" following the two campaigns, it then ran into serious issues with component deliveries and with the display quality.

The company decided to press ahead with the pre-order campaign for the Jolla Tablet and shipped the first 121 units in October last year, but Saarnio said ongoing supply problems and company-wide financial trouble "resulted in a fight for the survival of our company, not just the Tablet Project".

Although the company has since secured a new financing deal that pulled it back from the brink of collapse, it said this has come too late for the Jolla Tablet project. It has therefore taken the decision to ship the remaining 540 tablets to Indiegogo backers starting from February.

Jolla then aims to refund the remaining Indiegogo contributors in two parts: half of the refund will be done during the first quarter 2016, and the other half within a year, "our financial situation permitting", Saarnio added.

Jolla came very close to collapse last year but in December said it was back in business after it secured new financial backing that enabled it to close out a delayed series C funding round. In a blog post at the time, Saarnio said the company had secured "solid new financing" that pulled it out of a "death valley".

The company plans to pursue new licensing deals for the Sailfish OS, with a strong focus on device makers in BRICS markets.

For more:
- see the Jolla blog post

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