Bolivia's Jala to launch smartphone powered by Sailfish OS

Monday, February 27, 2017

By Jolla

February 27, 2017

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The Jala Group, founder of the Bolivian high-tech industry, today announced a strategic alliance with Finnish company Jolla Ltd. that develops Sailfish OS, an open operating system for mobile devices. This alliance will enable Jala to power ACCIONE -a low-cost hi-tech smartphone- furthering the Bolivian company's endeavors to ensure technological independence for Latin America.

Smartphone platforms, such as Google's Android and Apple's iOS, which dominate the market globally, are "closed" mobile operating systems. This fact forces the rest of the world to rely on technologies that they do not control. It is because of this prevailing condition that JALA is investing in Jolla's Sailfish OS: an open-source based mobile operating system that can ensure technological independence for Latin America.

Mr. Jorge Lopez, founder and CEO of the Jala Group, said: "Jolla's Sailfish OS is a real alternative to Android for our needs in Latin America. Even a well-developed and technologically advanced country such as Russia, for example, opted for the extensive use of Sailfish OS. Russia did so because of this system's openness and the fact that it provides control over the security features that Russians need specifically to gain technological independence."

Aiming at this same level of independence, ACCIONE smartphones will also use the Sailfish OS, on which Jala's Bolivian engineers will be able to eventually work and help enhance, gaining intellectual property rights in the process.

Mr. Sami Pienimäki, CEO of Jolla comments: "We believe that Latin America needs to master its own destiny also in the field of mobile technology, and building an independent regional mobile ecosystem is vital for that in today's connected world. Jala Group, with its vast qualified software resources and IT experience, is perfectly equipped to deliver on this initiative, and we are very happy to announce this partnership between our companies."

Mr. Jorge Lopez continues: "Because Latin America is technologically dependent and an importer of technology in the form of finished products, not producing high technology itself, it faces the ever-increasing gap between the so-called 'developed countries' and those that must import technology. As a Latin American, I am aware that our average income does not compare to that of an American or European citizen. In spite of this fact, to access the same level of technology, Latin American people must pay much higher prices than Americans or Europeans for the same product. The extra cost is a direct result of not owning the intellectual property. We are forced to pay, at the very least, high import taxes (approx. 40% in Bolivia). The lack of intellectual property rights keeps us one step behind."

As far as the hardware is concerned, ACCIONE will be based on chipset technology provided by Qualcomm.

About the Jala Group:

The Jala Group founded in 2001 is a high-tech Bolivian holding, initiator of the software industry in Bolivia. Almost sixteen years later, Jala now has more than 800 employees, including more than 600 software engineers. The initial undertaking has developed into a group of different business units dealing in world-class technology: Jalasoft, a software factory; Jala Industries, a software-hardware integrator; and the Jala Foundation, which is the Group's educational branch with a close relationship to the Bolivian people at large. The headquarters of the Jala Group are in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and it has branch offices in the United States, Hong Kong, and Chile.

About Jolla Ltd:

Jolla Ltd., the mobile company from Finland, is the developer of Sailfish OS, the open mobile operating system. The first Sailfish OS mobile product, the Jolla Smartphone, was first introduced in November 2013. In November 2014 Jolla introduced the Jolla Tablet project, and in Q3/2015 Jolla announced its first major licensing partner Intex Technologies. Currently, the company focuses on licensing Sailfish OS to governmental and corporate customers. Jolla was born in 2011 out of the passion of its founders for open innovation in the mobile space, continuing the heritage of Nokia and MeeGo. Jolla Ltd. has offices in Helsinki and Tampere, Finland, and in Hong Kong.