Russia to build its own Smartphone Software


Russia plans to build its own Smartphone Software, Sailfish OS, based on Finnish phone maker Jolla. 

About a year ago, Russia’s request to disclose Apple and SAP’s source codes was rejected, and now Russia has decided to develop its own Smartphone and compete with Apple, Android and other Smartphone developers all over the world. 

Nikolai Nikiforov, the Russian minister of communications, has announced that Russia will soon replace Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms with its own Smartphone software based on Jolla’s open-source mobile operating system Sailfish.

The staff of Finnish Jolla, has already met with Russian technology community members in early May to further discuss the new software OS that is about to be build but it is yet not known when Russian Smartphone is going to launch.

Russia is recently trying to reduce its dependence on western software, because currently more than 95% of Russia’s tech market share depends on foreign technology. Nikiforov said that the country plans to reduce foreign technology dependence down to 50% over the next ten years according to Russian daily newspaper RBC.

Right now, Sailfish is still behind Microsoft and BlackBerry’s mobile operating systems with only 0.5% of Russian market share, but since the mobile software is the only open-source mobile software in the country’s market, its premises are a lot more attractive to the Russian government compared to other foreign companies with proprietary source codes.

By building its own Smartphone, Russia is making a big step towards their goal on reducing western technology dependence and by building  it itself, Russia is making sure that their Smartphone software are not going to  be ‘spoiled’ by the US National Security Agency operations. Nikiforov himself has expressed in early 2015 his support and enthusiasm for open-source platforms and said that the Russian government is ready to offer grants and plenty of opportunities to developers who are willing to choose local open-source alternatives rather than the well known Android and iOS.

It is going to be very interesting to see if Russia’s plan to convince developers transfer their applications from big software companies to Sailfish will be successful. According to Nikiforov, the government has already started encouraging local companies to buy Russian software and hardware and has started paying great amounts of money to local developers to do so, but it will all depend on how well Sailfish is going to be received in the near future.

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