Nokia’s Jolla smartphone OS goes Chinese, becomes Sailfish and Google-free

Sailfish OS
Image credit: Sailfish OS

Jolla has announced that the Chinese Sailfish OS project has reached a milestone in development with $250 million earmarked from its various partners for developing the Sailfish ecosystem in China. In less than six months China will have its own independent mobile operation system based on Sailfish OS.

Jolla Chairman Antti Saarnio made the announcement as Chinese President Xi Jinping was visiting Finland.

Sailfish OS has its roots in Nokia’s MeeGo operating system and was set up by ex-Nokia staff. MeeGo itself was a project that came out of Nokia’s own Maemo OS on the N800 and N900 series tablets and then the Intel-led Moblin OS.

The Sailfish China consortium will develop Sailfish OS-based solutions for secure smartphones, the automotive industry, TV, IoT and smartwatches.

Saarnio said, “This is an excellent example of technological collaboration between Finland and China. I expect that many similar collaboration projects will follow. There has been many Chinese projects aiming to develop a mobile operating system, but they all have failed. It takes several years to develop an operating system, and it is much wiser to utilize existing technology, and license it.”

By 2022, Saarnio said he expects 10 to 20 countries have followed Russia’s and China’s example and are building their secure mobile communication based on Sailfish OS.

“Sailfish OS is ideal to be used in the whole one belt one road area,” he concluded.

Last November, Jolla announced that in Russia Sailfish OS had been certified as the only mobile operating system which has been officially accepted to be used in governmental and government controlled corporations’ upcoming mobile device projects.

The issue of a need for a powerful, open and secure mobile operating system away from the Google and Apple ecosystems has been a recurring theme especially amongst the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

At Mobile World Congress earlier this year, Jolla first announced the China Sailfish consortium along with official support for the Sony Xperia X as one of the first reference platforms for Sailfish taking advantage of Sony’s open platform.

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