YotaPhone :: 2015-03-04 10-21-30

Update: While we can’t verify the authenticity of this quote, it seems that Yahoo News might be wrong..

We do not have any ongoing development of Jolla version of YotaPhone. I can’t say how things will turn in the future. Maybe Sailfish will obtain a certain market share as mobile OS.

At this point of time, we are fully committed to Android and recently migrated our customer base to 5.0 and working on the next generation of Android OS.

Yota, the Russian company behind the dual-screened YotaPhone, has reportedly decided (via Yahoo News) to no longer pack Google’s Android on its future handsets. Instead, the phone maker will be going with Jolla’s Sailfish, a spin-off of Nokia’s former MeeGo Linux distribution. Sailfish, which was built by many of the same engineers that worked on MeeGo, reportedly beat out Samsung’s Tizen in Yota’s search for an Android alternative…

It’s not yet clear whether or not this decision will also mean that the currently-available YotaPhone 2 will also be offered with Sailfish. It’s not likely that the company would be able to send an over-the-air update to move already-sold phones to Sailfish, but it’s possible that the company might decide to start selling a Sailfish version of the YotaPhone 2 hardware.

Perhaps importantly, much of YotaPhone’s fanbase has come from those fascinated with anything and everything built on Android. Without Google’s OS, and also the attractive idea of the phone getting the software features of Lollipop and—eventually—Android M, there’s not much outside of the ePaper display (which many see as gimicky) to sell the phone. Theoretically, Android apps could still work fine on Sailfish, however.

YotaPhone 2 recently came to the United States by way of a Indiegogo campaign—which has since mets its goal. The unique smartphone, which sports “two fronts,” brings the convenience of a fully-customizable always-on ePaper display on its rear. You can still grab the device on Indiegogo at a discounted $525 price, and it will likely be made more widely available for purchase when the campaign is over.

But with this news, I wouldn’t recommend this phone anymore. The device was already niche, and this decision will only make it more obscure. I was actually moderately interested, but now I’m not interested at all.

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Stephen Hall

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