Remember Meego? It was the open-source phone project from founding partners Intel and Nokia that was going to displace Apple’s iPhone. And it’s not dead yet.
Despite Nokia’s defection to Windows 7 and Intel’s difficulties finding new partners, the beauty of open source is that the code always lives on … in this case, with a small group of former Nokia employees and open source diehards, Jolla Group, who have now amazingly, incredibly, unbelievably struck a distribution deal with a Chinese retail chain: D.Phone Group.
The news was first announced in a tweet — Jolla Group‘s site is not yet live:
Great news: Jolla has just signed its first sales deal. What a start for a new exciting week – follow the news today! #meego#jolla— Jolla (@JollaMobile) July 16, 2012
According to Androidistica, the chairman on Jolla, Dr. Antti Saarnio, said in a statement that “this agreement with D.Phone is a major step in Jolla’s journey towards becoming a significant player in the global smartphone market.”
As much as I am impressed that this tiny group of developers is taking the Meego code-base and actually releasing a product with it, that statement is ridiculous.
A sales and distribution agreement with an unknown Chinese retailer is not a major step. The mobile platform wars are full of powerful and wealthy competitors. And it’s all about developers now … which means that a tiny, almost unknown platform with little distribution has a snowball’s chance in hell of survival.