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Could Sailfish OS threaten the near duopoly of iOS and Android?

At MWC 2017, Jolla CEO Sami Pienimäki, along with some of his partners, presented their company’s new organization, as well as Sailfish OS, introducing it as an international product. In 2017, the company wants to begin operating with profit as a goal and seriously putting Sailfish OS up against Android and iOS, especially in China and South America. Plus, we're starting to see the fruits of the labor that has been, up until now, a mysterious partnership with Sony Mobile.

In some countries, Jolla wasn't very well known and it didn't have much success. But that's not important now. In its native Finland, it's developing the software part of the project. The long-term partnership they presented under the title 'Sailfish China Consortiums', with a five-year plan, should guarantee the company’s funding.

Jolla is currently selling a software platform that, at first glance, is very similar to Android. Their plan is to take advantage of the mistrust that has begun surging around Google and Apple. Both Android and iOS operating systems may be safe, but they give developers little (or no) ability to influence it. They also don't provide any insight into what is happening on the deeper levels of the system or what data they send to their centers.




Opinion by Eric Ferrari-Herrmann
iOS and Android aren't as transparent as they could be
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Jolla claims to provide the first operating system that is regionally restricted. In other words: all data remains in the country of the buyer. However, Jolla’s clients, that is to say, device manufacturers that want to use Sailfish OS, must give back their changes to the OS kernel. It's an Open Source project where apps used on Russian Sailfish devices should also work on Brazilian Sailfish devices.

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Sony Xperia X with Sailfish OS. / © AndroidPIT

Speaking of apps: Jolla will continue having an environment where Android apps and APK files can be installed and run, although, some clients may choose not to use this environment in their variation of Sailfish OS. OMP partners, who were also present, would have suggested this limitation like Pienimäki has done in passing.

It's still not clear if Sailfish OS can contribute anything worthwhile to the smartphone ecosystem. Examples, such as removal of APK support in Russia, show us that Jolla still hasn't chosen a position. Sailfish devices are still neutral and their ecosystem is far from being finished. This is also made evident by the lack of interoperability between devices.




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LG Watch Urbane with Sailfish.  / © AndroidPIT

Although Jolla promises to deliver a scalable system that can be used on your TV, phone, watch and in the future on other devices, the client or the device manufacturer itself, must be in charge of synchronizing them. We'll have to see if this problem can be left in the hands of a third-party company. If this new approach does work, though, Sailfish might be able to break up the current duopoly.

Do you think Sailfish could compete with Android? Would you ever try an alternative to iOS or Android? Let us know in the comments.

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  • I went through all your comments and not really surprised to know the negative comments for Sailfish. But the people who are in favor of duopoly of Android and iOS are the people who have not yet experienced the Sailfish OS. Think of iOS and Android in their early stages i.e. 2.0 and then compare them with Sailfish 2.0. There is noticeable difference how advance and mature is the OS in its early stage. I am using Sailfish OS and I am also a user of Android and iOS devices. When I use Sailfish and switch back to Android and iOS I find myself in a pathetic dated ecosystems that I don't find a reason to use them back again. The duopoly is only surviving as they have a vast app market and major giants sitting behind to support them. But remember 5 things :

    1. Sailfish User experience is far better than both dated Android and iOS
    2. Sailfish supports almost all Android apps and have its own native apps as well.
    3. Sailfish is people powered platform and updates which are rolled are based on the user experience.
    4. Russia has officially announced Sailfish as first Android and iOS alternative and now its going to sail in China soon (China is the fastest growing smartphone market and they rapidly accept changes).
    5. The brand and funding support which Sailfish was missing will now be covered by Sony as Sony is going to officially launch Premium Sailfish device i.e. Xperia X.

    Its just a start and the Jolla team actually believe in their OS therefore they are still sailing in the market. It is also clear from the above comments that Sailfish haters don't accept it right now but they will accept it in near future as iOS and Android upgrades are almost on their peek.

    Good luck duopoly supporters as Sailfish have a better reasons to survive.


  • There needs to be a fine balance between the "monopoly" of a duopoly and the fragmentation of too many players. But I'm sorry, Sailfish OS is not the candidate to break the duopoly. If it had the energy or even the wish to, we could have seen it in action long ago. Instead, it seems content to keep hobnobbing with developers and projecting a nerdy image rather than getting down to the serious business of establishing a mobile operating system that users can differentiate and appreciate.


  • storm 8 months ago Link to comment

    Neither Tizen nor Sailfish are threats right now. Samsung doesn't champion Tizen and install it as the baseline experience on their major phones in major markets. And it's not really about the OS. It's about the monopoly control of the app marketplace. That's where the income stream is, not in the OS. But the current environments have siloed the app markets by OS so it looks like it's about the OS, not the app market. The OS loses money. The income is 30% for doing nothing by controlling the app market.


  •   24

    TBH - I personally doubt that Sailfish is any threat to any other operating system - not even to windows mobile XD
    This line in the article sums it up for me -> "It's still not clear if Sailfish OS can contribute anything worthwhile to the smartphone ecosystem"

    The real "threat" to Android is Tizen. Android is currently chronically dependant on Samsung, as it's Samsung who is pushing millions of units and is the last true high end smartphone manufacturer (at least for android smartphones). Its no secret that Samsung has been aggressively pushing the evolution of its Tizen OS, heck Samsung doesn't even want to use android wear on its smartwatches. While chinese manufacturers are rapidly growing in their market presence on the android smartphone market, their rapid market growth is solely based on their sales in china. It's going to take another 4 or 5 years before brands like Huawei, Xiaomi or Meizu actually have worthwhile sales in the US or other larger international markets.


    • Tizen was recently described as some of the worst code ever seen by security researchers at Kaspersky lab's. If you compare what Android did in the last year versus what Tizen's done, I'd say this OS isn't even worth mentioning atm. I definitely see your point if it could happen in a year or so, suddenly your S7/S8 was updated overnight to Tizen...but truth is Samsung doesn't know how to code properly and anyone who had a year of Technical school for cyber security could likely steal anything they wanted off your Tizen phone. Trust me, they have their work cut out for them. I've been interested in this OS for a few years now back when I found out that it was ported to the Nexus 4 by Ascenture Mobile.


  • Yadul Das 8 months ago Link to comment

    Now the smartphone giants have new 2 serious threats . one , within the Android ecosystem The new Nokia , people are done with plasticy toys and the king is back with his golden army - "durability" . Second, the slow growth of sailfish os , which can be rapid at anytime from now. You see the irony, both threats are the remainings of the old nokia . sailfish os was developed from the ruins of meego os dropped by nokia in favour of Microsoft.


  • It's the old Nokia group who struggled to advance Symbian any further,an with Symbian like Android hope some new type of software to make Android more secure and really help consumers out,why? Isn't there no Exit on Android to help extended peoples batterylife on there phones and stop them worrying what's running on there phones


  • This is really a big challenge to establish the Sailfish OS and compete with the existing duopoly. Android and iOS already had their foundation too strong to be break easily.


  • Mark
    • Admin
    8 months ago Link to comment

    As much as I would like to see a new less invasive operating system. I think we are better off with the duopoly we have now. If not we could see a Quadopoly if you through Tizen into the mix. The compatibility issues would go off the scale.


  • ljhaye 8 months ago Link to comment

    The answer is, Nope we have a duopoly and need to move on

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