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A Brace From HERE: Jolla Becoming The Latest Licensee

by User Not Found | 11月 15, 2013

“You wait all day for a bus, then two come along at once.” So goes the cliché, but I’m afraid it’s a rather accurate description of Nokia’s HERE’s journey to horizontalisation, and one they wouldn’t mind hearing.  Just two days after they sealed the deal with Samsung’s Tizen to power the latter’s location-based services, Finnish start-up phone maker Jolla signed the deal on 13 November to use HERE’s positioning services and map technology on its Sailfish operating system.

This is another validation of our viewpoint, as was stated in our last blog, that HERE would gain more popularity among mobile OEMs when it is separated from Nokia.  With a bit twist of fate though, there is certainly some history but probably no love lost between Jolla and Nokia.  The venture-capital backed smartphone maker was set up by Nokia’s veteran executives and engineers to continue the work of MeeGo, which Nokia terminated when shifting full-steam to Windows Phone.  Though Strategy Analytics do not see Sailfish breaking the 1% smartphone market share mark in the next few years, a couple of developments have made the platform, therefore this current deal, more interesting.  To start with, it has already launched a product, which has been "sold out".  Though Jolla does not disclose the size of the batch, it must have at least garnered a cult following of some sort.  This will look even more impressive to compare with the slow move by Tizen.  Secondly, through an application runtime jointly developed by Jolla and its partner, suddenly thousands of Android applications become available to Sailfish through a third party app store, plus Jolla also started accepting applications in its own store, Jolla Harbour.  Most importantly from the business perspective, by selling a minority share to a Hong Kong based venture capital and entering into a distribution agreement with a China-based distributor, Jolla is clearly eyeing the largest smartphone market in the world.  If it works out, it can only be good news for HERE, and a minor, symbolic deal today may turn out to be bigger than it looks.

Actually the more common form of words of that cliché is “three come along at once”.  So, bring the next one “HERE”!

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