Perhaps Nokia‘s curse strikes again. Jolla, a company who rose from the Finnish giant’s ashes, is in a bit of financial trouble. It has filed for debt restructuring and has even announced temporary layoffs of most of its workforce. But even more worrying is that it has also halted all product deliveries, leaving thousands of pre-ordered Jolla tablets undelivered to backers who have already paid for the tablet in advance. All of these cast a shroud of uncertainty over the future of the startup and its ability to further deliver hardware products.
To be fair, Jolla isn’t a hardware company. It is primarily a software developer that did make a smartphone and is now trying deliver tablets that are practically a proof of concept for its Sailfish OS. That operating system, like the company, was born out of MeeGo, the mobile platform that Nokia initially developed and banked on before abandoning the the project altogether when former Microsoft exec Stephen Elop took over.
For a while, it seemed that Jolla was able to escape its troubled roots. The Jolla phone was met with relative success, though not enough numbers to count as a commercial triumph. Still, it garnered a faithful following enough to give Jolla confidence in its next ambitious move: a tablet. The Jolla tablet took crowdfunding by storm when the campaign launched late last year. The company had to create a second campaign last February just to accommodate demand. Given the amount they gathered, it probably didn’t cross anyone’s mind that the company would fail to deliver. After all, they did ship a few just last month.
What happened internally is still being kept a secret. Jolla’s head of communications, Juhani Lassila, is only stating the facts. The company has received pre-orders, most via crowdfunding, for more than 10,000 units. Jolla started accepting more pre-orders this autumn, confident that it would be able to start deliveries soon. However, things took a downturn when it had to change screen suppliers for still undisclosed reasons. It also had to postpone its financing round, which complicated matters even further.
At this point in time, there is no certainty where Jolla stands and what its fate in the near future will be. As mentioned, it has filed for debt restructuring, which will surely delay shipments even further. Lassila says that the company is ready to ship the second batch of tablets though it can’t announce a date yet, perhaps for fear of further inciting an already disappointed crowd.
SOURCE: Helsinki Times