Jolla separates Sailfish OS development from smartphone manufacturing

Sailfish OS developer Jolla amended its company structure in a bid to boost future development and licensing of the open-source smartphone operating system.

The Finland-based company announced that it is splitting its OS business from its smartphone manufacturing arm to allow each division to focus more closely on their respective core strengths. Future Sailfish OS development and licensing will continue to be handled by Jolla, while a new company will be established to run the devices side.

Jolla chairman and co-founder Antti Saarnio will head up the Sailfish division, and a new executive will be sought to lead the device business to replace former CEO Tomi Pienimäki, who is set to leave the business in August.

"Every young company has to find its clear focus at some time, and for Jolla that time is now," Saarnio said, adding that the company has "huge opportunities in the Sailfish OS licensing business."

Saarnio said he is "proud and excited to take responsibility of steering the Jolla ship to a new commercial phase." Three years of "intensive Sailfish OS research and development" has left the company ready to move "full speed to new bigger waters, which requires full focus on software from the team."

While Jolla originally produced smartphones to showcase Sailfish OS, Saarnio said strong demand for its "security enhanced devices" convinced the company that a separate handset business could thrive.

A new range of Jolla devices is set to be unveiled later this year, and Saarnio said the company is close to resolving hardware supply issues that have hindered the start of commercial shipments of its Jolla Tablet device. "The software (Sailfish OS) part of the work is in good shape", he noted.

Jolla announced its first Sailfish Alliance partner at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and said attendees of the Mobile World Congress Shanghai event, which runs Jul. 15-17, could expect to see further progress in the company's OS licensing business.

Shortly after its Barcelona appearance, the company expanded into Africa through a device supply deal with Namibian operator TN Mobile, a division of Telecom Namibia.

For more:
- see this Jolla announcement

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