by Swapnil Bhartiya

Jolla’s Linux tablet crowdfunding campaign raises $500K in 2 hours

Nov 19, 20144 mins
Consumer ElectronicsLinuxMobile

Jolla tablet u0007will run bon Sailfish OS which is based on open source technologies such as Linux, Mer and Qt. In addition to native apps Sailfish can also run Android apps. It is also possible to install traditional Linux applications on Sailfish OS.

Jolla, the Finnish company that created the open source mobile operating system Sailfish OS, today started a crowd-funding campaign at Indiego for their first Linux-powered tablet, simply called Jolla Tablet.

At the time of writing this article, the campaign already crossed the desired $380,00 goal and hit the half million mark with $631,764 raised.

jolla tablet comparison table

Jolla tablet compared with other popular tablets.

Jolla compares their tablet to the popular tablets in the same form-factor: the iPad Mini, Nexus 9 and the recently announced N1 by Nokia/Foxconn.

In terms of hardware, it’s neck-to-neck with competitors. But this is not about competition. To me, it’s about something much more significant: Jolla is the closest thing you can get to a true Linux tablet. And, it’s only $189!

Well, not really. The $189 slot was sold out and so was the $199 slot while I penned this article. The only slot available is $204. If Jolla plans to sell this tablet after the campaign, they have set the retail price at $249, so you would save $45 by ordering right now.

The tablet is available to residents of the following countries: EU, Norway, Switzerland, United States, India, China, Hong Kong, and Russia.

Jolla is using this campaign to gauge if there is any demand for such a tablet. The massive success of the campaign, within just a few hours of launching, clearly reveals the demand and we may see the production and sale of the tablet beyond this campaign.

The Jolla team is focusing on privacy with Sailfish OS, which will power the tablet. The company says that it’s their policy to never share or sell user data to anyone. They also claim there will be no backdoors in the device to monitor a user’s activities – something which can’t be said for proprietary software.

Jolla claims the device will offer far better multi-tasking than what current mobile operating systems offer – you will be able to control apps from the multi-tasking view. A good example would be the ability to change your music or play and pause your video stream without opening the app in full, says the company on the campaign page.

One of the biggest advantages of Sailfish is that in addition to their native apps, it can also run Android apps. You can also install the traditional GNU/Linux apps on it thus making it one of the most desirable mobile operating systems, along with Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch.

Jolla is not the first to bring Linux tablets

Jolla is not the only company trying to bring open source operating systems to mobile devices, mainly tablets.

Mozilla, which is enjoying success with Firefox OSon mobile phones, is planning a tablet. Aaron Seigo of Kolab Systems also tried to bring a Linux powered tablet to the market. And Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, is also working on an Ubuntu tablet. In fact you can already run Ubuntu Touch on many tablets.

Canonical also ran a similar but overly ambitious Indiego campaign for Ubuntu Edge. The campaign broke all records by raising over $19 million but failed to raise the $32 million the company wanted.

While Seigo’s Vivaldi and Canonical’s Ubuntu Edge failed, the success of the Jolla campaign is a great sign as it will encourage others to run more realistic campaigns to put such devices in people’s hands.

Jolla is a Finnish company that was created by members of the MeeGo team of Nokia. The team left Nokia after the Finnish giant decided to kill all of its open source projects and focus solely on Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

The team created a mobile operating system called Sailfish that is based on open source Mer project and the Linux kernel. Sailfish is not fully open source, however. While the base OS is open source many UI elements developed by Jolla are proprietary.