July 10, 2012 10:11am
Last week, Finnish startup Jolla announced that it would build its own smartphone with software based on Nokia’s MeeGo operating system. The short-lived N9 handset, which was the basis for the Lumia 800 design, was an amazing piece of engineering but suffered from a lack of apps and developer support.
Jolla said that it was licensing Nokia’s MeeGo patents but would build an entirely new UI using the Linux-based code. The company was started by former Nokia employees using their new “Bridge” program which helps groups at risk of getting fired start up something brand new.
Nokia has issued a statement pertaining to the licensing of patents to Jolla: “We’re proud of the support from our Bridge program to start-ups founded by former Nokia people, but we have not gifted Nokia patents to any of them, including Jolla. Jolla has said that it will sell new MeeGo-based smartphones with Jolla technology including its own brand new UI.”
We’re unsure of whether the company can find success in this competitive market, but their home country of Finland is likely to be more receptive than North America, certainly. We’ll follow this with interest as MeeGo has a lot of potential to be a powerful and successful mobile OS — it just needs to be marketed properly.