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Marc Dillon: Dethroning Android

Marc Dillon, the co-founder and head of software development for Jolla, a Finnish mobile company working towards mobile operating alternatives to Android and iOs, believes that there needs to be a serious shakeup in the OS status quo.

“There needs to be a new operating system.” Dillon said during an interview with Paul Mozur of the Wall Street Journal at the 2013 Beijing GMIC. “The eco systems that exist now have created something that they want to protect and they want to maintain quid pro quo.”

Before co-founding Jolla in 2011, Dillon worked for more than a decade at Nokia, a company that he said is blessed with “some of the smartest and most innovative people on earth.” But during the past few years, Dillon said Android and iOs have been able to leverage their leading market positions into sort of “closed off gardens” that limit consumer choices and, ultimately, hinder innovation.

“There’s not been a lot of creativity or innovation in android, Google, or the other top players (in terms of OS).” Dillon said. “That’s something that we knew needed to be opened up.”

Sailfish, the open-source operating system that Jolla is working on, could be the “catalyst for change,” that the industry is in need of, Dillon said.  The core of the system is Linux-based, and Dillon says that after at least two years of programming, it is nearing completion and will be “shipment ready,” in the months to come.

“You can only buy what is offered to you.  How many choices are available to you? Now there are two players. “ Dillon said. “We’re offering you something new.”

Jolla’s vision is especially relevant in China’s market, where Android’s dominant market position has caught the eye of regulators and Apple’s devices have come under fire for lax customer service standards.

“Mobile is exceptionally dynamic. China is most dynamic place for change in the world. All you need to do is start doing something new.” Dillon said.

China is labeled, fairly or not, as an innovation desert, Dillon said, but he sees the tide turning.  In the past, the idea was that China would copy the work from one company and steal its copyrights. Now, what’s happening is a type of synergy, where numerous ideas from numerous companies are combining to create a new layer of value and a new product created by Chinese companies, Dillon said.

“Where I see opportunity is in China. Not a copy but a synergy. China is a hotbed for that right now. So many people are learning by doing. Already so much synergy.

“China is a tremendous opportunity for us.”

Missing out on attending GMIC Beijing? Register now a Free Expo Pass for GMIC SV (full price: $100). Moscone Center, San Francisco. October 21-23, 2013.

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