Ultra-strong both in software and in materials. That was the promise that Turing Robotic Industries (TRI) made with its Turing Phone, which, a good number of pre-order buyers have indeed believed. That, however, was last year. The smartphone, which boasts of a “stronger than steel” liquid metal body, has already been delayed. And now it might be delayed even more. The company has informed early buyers that it has decided to switch from Android to Jolla‘s Sailfish OS, a rather dumbfounding move for a device that still needs to prove it can actually reach the market.
TRI enumerates the benefits of running Sailfish OS instead of Android. Scratch that. “Benefit”, as in singular. TRI claims that Sailfish OS runs “exceptionally fast” on the Turing Phone hardware. And, like the BlackBerry 10 OS, it has support, somewhat, for running Android apps. Best of both worlds, so to speak. Hardly.
That’s not to say that Sailfish OS is a terrible OS, only that it’s not exactly a proven OS in the market yet, comparatively speaking. It is an interesting platform, born from Intel and Nokia’s abandoned MeeGo thrust, with an interesting user interface system revolving around swipes from almost all sides. That it can run Android apps is definitely a perk, though not nearly as perfect as running in their own native Android OS.
The real problem at the moment has less to do with the OS itself and more with the company that makes it. Jolla has only recently received a much delayed funding but it is clearly not yet out of the water. In fact, it had formally announced that it has shutdown the Jolla Tablet, shipping only the remaining 500 or so tablets to backers an refunding the rest, as their finances would allow. Meaning to say, maybe. Jolla is indeed switching to licensing its Sailfish OS as its core business, which fits perfectly with this case.
This could indeed be Jolla’s big break, considering a single Turing Phone starts at $610, but the stability of the company could have many Turing Phone buyers a bit worried. Especially considering how the Turing Phone is already delayed considerably, it’s not hard to imagine former believers suddenly having doubts.