Sailfish OS revived by Indian vendors Snapdeal and Intex. Intex is the second largest mobile manufacturer after Micromax in India. Sailfish OS was abandoned by Nokia after starting on a grand scale in favour of Microsoft’s Window Phone.
Sailfish OS is owned by Helsinki-based Jolla. The company was founded Marc Dillon in 2011 as open innovation in the mobile space. Sailfish is the most modern and mobile-optimized operating system. Jolla initially manufactured smartphones keeping in mind the consumer needs.
Jolla recently announced that the company will not be making handsets and fully concentrate on Sailfish software and operating system licensing business. However, the company is planning to carve separate business for building hardware. Jolla announced Intex will be making smartphones on Sailfish OS in the second of 2015.
Intex will be rolling a new product called Intex Aqua Fish, a 4G smartphone by September 2015 priced in the range of INR 15,000. Jolla is will deeply embed their services within the platform called PartnerSpace, which hold the prospect of a localized smartphone experience to encourage regional buyers.
Jolly is eyeing users from BRICS, convincing them to buy their Sailfish embedded OS handsets. However certain factors like handset prices and local services may prove deterrent in the short term. The company want to gain early momentum in India by pushing Sailfish licensing and have announced ‘Sailfish India’ or otherwise called ‘regional mobile ecosystem initiative’ for India. Jolla has named its first partners in India Snapdeal and Intex Technologies (owners of Intex mobile).
Jolla’s executive Chairman Antti Saarnio said “We have seen a lot of interest among Indian device vendors, digital media houses, and mobile operators, and they all are very keen to work with an alternative to the currently dominating mobile operating systems. India deserves its own regional mobile ecosystem, an open platform, which supports local Indian services and businesses.”
He further added “The aim for Sailfish India is to develop a unique Indian mobile ecosystem, which will lead to greater differentiation in the market with more choices for consumers, higher user satisfaction and better revenues for local businesses. Further, Sailfish India partners will be announced later.”
Another important factor that may work in favour of Jolla is that the company offer a revenue share for sales generated via operating systems which will have an app interface in their environment. This is profit proposition for the manufacturers who take a bet on the new alternative to Android.
Karan Khara, Vice President – Strategic Alliances, Snapdeal said, “Mobile is driving the online commerce growth in India; we see more than 75% of our sales coming through the mobile platform. We are very excited to be a part of another first by Jolla and are confident that the Sailfish India ecosystem will receive a great response from users across the country.”
However, it is needed to be seen how far the strategy of embedding the new operating system in the phone will work in favour of manufacturers and end users. It will be a mammoth task to convince the end users to switch to new OS who are accustomed to Android, Windows or an iOS environment. Even Samsung has already released smartphones based Tizen OS in their native markets.