Privacy is a real issue. A company called Jolla invented Sailfish, an independent mobile OS. Soon enough, Russia took it up. If things go smooth, it is expected to be in the Russian market soon for domestic use.
Jolla’s Sailfish OS has been certified in Russia for government and corporate use. Although the Russian government has been encouraging the development of an alternative OS, it is certain that Sailfish has been given more preference over the others.
For some time now, the Russian government has pushed for homegrown Android development to wean away US–dominated smartphone platforms. At the moment, Sailfish has been given preference over Korea’s Tizen. Currently, the Russian market for foreign OS’es is 95%, which the government plans to reduce to 50% by 2025.
Along with the local certification of Sailfish in Russia, a Russian strategic Android alternative will be built by the Open Mobile Platform [OMP], a new Russian company.
Unlike Mozilla’s Firefox OS, Sailfish OS has an upper hand when it comes to compatibility with Android Applications. Jolla is hoping to repeat this success elsewhere, in other BRICs nations, from its HQ in Finland, including India. Their role is to not only provide the OS but also keep it compatible with different operations and make it robust and functional. So those countries who were thinking of developing their own mobile OS can just have the Sailfish customised for their needs. It would be cost-affective and speedier.
Sailfish is almost an international company as its shareholders include Finns, Russian and Chinese investors. Indians, Brazilians and South African investors are expected to come on board as investors soon. What makes Sailfish truly wonderful is that it’s not controlled by large corporates, and therefore congenial for local collaboration and customisation.
In Russia, Sailfish-powered devices might hit the market in 2017 itself. Although there is no mass market for Sailfish just yet, the future will be all about individuals wanting a privacy-focused alternative to Android. And that’s when companies like Jolla will be most valued. Their journey towards that end has already begun.