Jolla Oy offers 'closure' to tablet backers

January 29, 2016 | 11:50

Tags: #crowd-funding #indiegogo #jolla #jolla-tablet #sailfish

Companies: #jolla-oy

Jolla Oy has made an announcement likely to disappoint many but surprise few: it is never going to be able to fulfil the orders it received back in 2014 for its Sailfish OS-based tablet.

Founded by former Nokia staffers, Jolla Oy tooks crowd-funding site Indiegogo by storm with its pitch for a flagship tablet for its Sailfish OS software, a successor to Maemo and Meego capable of running native software as well as Android applications. When it went back in January 2015 for more cash in exchange for upgraded storage, it finished with more than five times its original funding goal raised - only to warn a year later, with the tablet massively delayed, that those funds might not be enough.

During that announcement, Jolla Oy's Junani Lassila warned that while a further small batch of tablets would be shipped to go along with those early models sent out to some backers in the previous autumn 'we are not able to complete the production to fulfill all contributions. In other words, all of our backers will not get a Jolla Tablet.'

At the time, Lassila was vague about exactly how many backers would receive a tablet, and the status of pre-orders placed directly through the company's website rather than via crowd-funding sites. Now, in a blog post entitled Aiming for Closure, Antti Saarnio has the figures: 540 units are to be shipped to backers in order of when they placed their pledges on Indiegogo, to go with the 121 tablets that formed the very first batch. Those who were not among the first 661 backers will have a shot at a refund: Saarnio has indicated that due to the company's financial status, half the refund will be made in the first quarter of this year while the second may happen within the next year, 'our financial situation permitting.

In keeping with the company's traditionally poor communications, Saarnio has not clarified whether the half-now-half-possibly-later-if-we-have-the-cash refund process is per-backer or in total - in other words, whether all backers will receive half their cash back now and the possibility of the other half next year, or whether half the backers will receive all of their money now and the other half left hanging.

Saarnio did, however, attempt to address concerns over the fact that the tablet the company has failed to deliver is being actively sold on Chinese wholesale sites, stating that 'Jolla as a company has nothing to do with these devices – please note that these devices are not running Sailfish OS, but Android,' but failing to respond to backers asking why the company can't simply buy up the stock of Jolla Tablets and flash their already-developed SailFish OS on top, as they have with the 540 they are to send out from February.
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