Jolla co-founder & CTO: "We make hardware to show that we're really good at doing software" (video)

As Finnish startup Jolla prepares to start shipping its crowd-funded tablet before the end of June, its co-founder and CTO Stefano Mosconi explains to why they are actually a software company.
Jolla co-founder & CTO:

"Jolla is a software company," the fledgling Finnish smartphone and tablet maker's co-founder and CTO Stefano Mosconi stated in a quick video interview recorded last week at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.

That may be a bit odd for a company that just picked up the award for 'best tablet' at the recent Mobile World Congress, but Mosconi explained to me that Jolla's smartphone and tablet computer products are a way for the startup to showcase what its Sailfish operating system is capable of.

Indeed, as the company is close to finishing a successful crowdfunding campaign for the Jolla Tablet (almost $2.4 million raised on Indiegogo, and counting) and expects to shart shipping the device "in between May and June", its main objective now is finding and signing partners.

That means both partners on the software services (apps) side as well as the hardware manufacturing (ODMs and OEMs) side, Mosconi told me in the video interview.

The Sailfish OS would be licensed for free to serve as a veritable platform, Mosconi explained, and the idea for the company at this point is to try and build a business out of revenue-sharing partnerships on the software services end. How this would work exactly remains unclear, but the cash infusion from the Indiegogo campaign buys the company some time to figure it out, at least.

Still, Mosconi said he would like to see a non-Jolla hardware product running Sailfish OS before the end of this year, which leaves only three more quarters.

Asked what a small Finnish company (about 130 people strong at present) is doing challenging the global giants in today's tech world, the affable Jolla co-founder acknowledged that it does indeed "sound a bit crazy", but that a lot of the people working at the company came from Nokia's MeeGo team and simply felt that it would be a shame to let the unique asset go to waste. The ambitious goal for the company is to provide the world with an alternative to the "duopoly" we have today, Mosconi said.

What differentiates Sailfish from other operating systems for mobile devices, Mosconi posits, is its 'lightness' relative to other devices out there (which means better battery life with the same hardware specs) and its gesture-based, zero-buttons-required UX.

Another benefit is that the technical infrastructure is designed to scale well with different form factors and business verticals, he added, which is why you shouldn't be surprised to one day see the Sailfish OS appear in more unexpected places (think cars, healthcare, infotainment systems and whatnot).

But first, let's see how the world responds to the "world's first crowdsourced tablet".

Featured image credit: Kārlis Dambrāns / Flickr

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