You may recall the company Jolla from a few months back that made all sorts of splashy headlines in the summer of 2012. It was a company primarily made of ex-Nokia employees disillusioned by Stephen Elop’s choice to abandon the Meego operating system and focus all efforts on Windows Phone. The company put out of a press release saying they had secured a large over $350 million dollar deal with a Chinese distributor over their Sailfish OS based on the Linux kernel. Well it turns out many of these were half truths, and the press release it not even available at the company’s website anymore.
“Jolla Ltd., a rising Finnish smartphone product company, has signed a Sales and Distribution agreement with D.Phone Group, the largest mobile phones retail chain in China. Together the companies have a shared target to reach significant sales volumes in China’s 150 million smartphone market. The agreement is such that D.Phone will start sales and distribution of Jolla smartphones in China, utilising D.Phone’s vast network of over 2000 retail stores to reach the Chinese consumers.”
“The alliance partners will be investing an estimated 200 million euros to ensure the success and rapid expansion of the new ecosystem. The 200M€ ecosystem financing will come in gradually from Jolla and as members join the alliance, which will include chipset vendors, OEM and ODM manufacturers, operators and retailers.”
Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki was forced to clarify the company’s previous statements:
“There simply there hasn’t been action in that area because we haven’t had the device to deliver.” “Now we start the deliveries in Finland and Europe, and at some point we go to China… most likely next year, but we do not have any specific plans yet. We are a small company and we have to proceed in phases. It’s natural for us that we start in Finland, and that is what we are doing with DNA.”
“[…]we believe to be able to build such an alliance would take a lot of money and partners. We need to gain experiences regarding the product and processes and after that we enter the next market.”
The company launch late this month is about small as it gets. Finnish carrier ‘DNA’ will have a pop-up store in Helsinki with only 450 devices. The company is making less than 50,000 devices in total. I think Jolla is going to learn a lot of hard lessons, and it seems quite clear Stephen Elop made the right decision.