Oh Jolla, I believed in you. I believed that the Sailfish OS would be one of the most interesting and fun additions to the Mobile Phone market to break up the humdrum that is the current 4 pronged race. Despite not being a rabid follower, I kept up to date about the “The Other Half” campaign and teaser vicariously through Pang, one of your biggest fans in all of Malaysia (dare I say in the world) and I joined in with the speculation of what it all means. For me, Jolla and Sailfish represented hope in that a new generation of OS’ with cheeky, radical ideals would come and take the world by storm. With the innovation that the N9 brought the industry (after constantly being reminded by Pang), and the amount of support from the communities, I thought Jolla and Sailfish would be the next big thing. What was the other half?
Then the Jolla page was updated.
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What we got was essentially a first look at the inaugural Jolla handset and what about “The Other Half” that they were so sneaky at teasing? This is where it gets a little disheartening. The Other Half essentially is a term for the interchangeable rear covers that apparently customize the way your phone looks on the outside with the different colours they come in as well as on the inside by automatically switching the theme to match the colour, presumably with the help of NFC. Now, I’m not gullible to think that that’s ALL that the Other Half is but the key point is that if there was unlimited potential to the covers, Jolla certainly didn’t show it. No prototypes, no concept art, no renders and not even a peep at what this talked about potential actually could entail. As far as we were concerned, it was “We will leave it in the hands of the people! DIT approach not DIY!”. THAT is the greatest cop out I’ve seen this year.
The Other Half had so much potential to include covers which had a second screen, battery pack, external keyboard, camera lens attachments as well as anything under the sun, but instead Jolla decided not to whet our appetites and rather just focused on the ability to change themes and exterior appearance. The “Reveal” was merely the presenter taking the phone out of his pocket, showing it to the crowd, playing a video of a few mockups and calling for pre-orders for the end of the year launch. This was your global reveal, a culmination of weeks and months of teasing the public and you couldn’t even muster up more than I could find for myself on Jolla.com? No mention on specs, no mention on apps, no mention on global pricing and availability and worst of all, no demo for Sailfish.
Not everyone has had the chance to play with Sailfish and not everyone will have seen it in action like most Jolla devotees so wouldn’t it make sense to show off how incredible your new OS is going to be? I’ve seen it in a video walkthrough and I do like it but with this complete letdown of a “reveal”, I am now not so sure about the project as a whole. In the next 2 or so months Jolla has to show us something concrete instead of just talking up a big game to appease all the investors and shareholders while forgetting about the consumers. It is a critical time for Jolla, the flagbearer for alternative mobile OS’. I’ve not completely given up on Jolla and Sailfish because I do believe in the potential this Other Half campaign and approach has but as the 15 minute “presentation” ended, camera panning to pictures of party goers getting inebriated amongst faces of confused journalists buried in their smartphones; I waited for something from Pang, my one source of all things Jolla. His reaction summed up what the night was all about. I could hear the sombreness through our internal chat amongst the passive aggressive fullstops.
“Wait… I need some time to wrap my head around this.”
Good luck Jolla.