More than a year after beating its crowd-funding goal, the Jolla Tablet project appears to have reached its end with backers being told they are unlikely to receive the goods for which they have paid.
The flagship product of Jolla Oy, a company founded in 2011 by former Nokia staffers, the Jolla Tablet was to run the company's open-source MeeGo successor Sailfish OS and offer improved security, gesture-based control, and support for many native Android applications to boost the ecosystem. It followed the relatively successful launch of the Jolla Phone, and blew up on crowd-funding site Indiegogo in November 2014 beating its modest $380,000 goal
with 20 days to spare.
The project finished in December 2014 well above its goal, and raised further funds in January with the offer of an upgrade to 64GB of storage
. Following the closure of the campaign, the company also offered the tablet for pre-order direct in its store, raising yet more funds - funds which, the company has now warned, have turned out insufficient.
Despite raising around five times its original goal, Jolla Oy has been forced to cancel shipments of the tablet - even as devices appear for immediate sale and shipment on Chinese wholesale sites. In a blog post entitled New Year's Greetings
, Jolla Oy's Juhani Lassila admitted that financial troubles and a higher than expected development cost for Sailfish OS 2.0 mean that few backers will ever receive their tablets. 'The first small batch of Jolla Tablets were shipped in the autumn to our Indiegogo contributors,
' Lassila explained in the post, referring to an initial production batch of 300 tablets. 'The project altogether had some serious unexpected setbacks in the autumn, and we were forced to postpone the whole project schedule many times – these were communicated in several blog posts along the summer and autumn.
'We don’t have all pieces of the puzzle figured out just yet, but a few things are now certain: we are happy to say that we will be shipping an additional small batch of the Jolla Tablet to early backers during early 2016, targeting to send invitations during January. The bad news here is that 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.
While Lassila has advised backers and customers that they 'will not end up empty handed,
' it is clear that the majority of the 21,644 Indiegogo backers and unknown number of direct pre-order customers are not going to receive the delayed device for which they had been hoping. Details of what they will receive and the precise volume of the next small production run have not yet been released, with many customers commenting on the blog requesting refunds.