...gone fishing in Salocon ValleyApril 2016 launch of Turing Phone, specially encrypted smartphone, cover and speaker made of some "neverdonedinium" 2.5 times stronger than titanium. Promised by Turing Robotic Industries Corp. TRI has a deal with Jolla on using the Finnish mobile operating system Sailfish OS.
Updates: 8th postpone of shipping. Registering done. Jolla announces the license. Trademark abandoned. Production delayed. Link to video. (Follow up post also updated.)
About the Turing Phone by TRI
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Update, May 16, 2016:Apparently the shipping won't take place yet on May, not likely on June either, and I'm strongly starting to feel we are looking at a vaporware here. I hope someone proves it's not.
|TRI replies to a customer on Facebook on May 16th, 2016|
Phones may not be shipped without FCC approval. Getting one requires that the phone, in its final hardware, is shipped to a certificated laboratory where for example its antennas are tested for radiation. The procedure typically takes more than a month, and the outcome is not an automatic approval, it depends on the results. The company should have had an answer ready for a question like this a long time ago, already before the first promise of shipping. So why such reply instead of simple yes?
Update, May 3, 2016:Promise on shipping of Turing Phone was today moved to late May or June, this was the 8th shared postpone to the delivery of the first product counting the current (TRI) and earlier (QuasarAlpha) companies founded by Mr. Steve Chao.
On the positive news, the company has now registered like a Finnish company should, being able to pay salaries and having a physical address in the factory site they've leased from Microsoft in the beginning of April. Additionally, Jolla officially announced the licensing of their operating system to TRI today, sharing that Sailfish OS already runs fast on Turing Phone.
On the negative side, no-one has yet published an independent review of Sailfish OS actually running on the phone. TRI also used an older image of their phone running on Android in their latest newsletter - odd decision after a switch of OS, unless they are lacking new photos. Which would be odd as well. Also the trademark issues remains, Turing Phone website is currently showing "tm" on several products without a trademark.
While having both positive and negative news around I still remain skeptic, but I sure hope them to succeed on one sunny day. Unfortunately even the 8th postpone shared today will not be the last, but maybe one day we will see a phone with some updated specs. I'd really love to see that.
Update, April 7, 2016:
Promise on production of Turing Phones is delayed until May, and the amount of employees needed in Salo has dropped from 270 to some tens in the beginning. Turing Robotic Industries CEO Mr. Chao claims that some employees are already hired in Salo, Finland, but that is quite questionable while the company registered in Finland has not been registered to the employer register. TRI has only gained a trade register status so far. (source)
Having an annual turnover of more than 10 000€, a company in Finland would require status "subject to VAT" in the register, which TRI does not yet have. Paying salary to any employees normally requires a tax prepayment register status, which the company has not yet either. However, there are some special cases on which that status would not be needed - as long as the taxes from salaries are paid. (register)
As a physical company, Turing Robotic Industries (TRI) is still located only in a drawer of a lawyer in Helsinki. On the trademark issue mentioned in the original article below, there's now an official Abandonment Notice (source):
APPLICANT: Turing Robotic Industries, Corp.
THE ABOVE IDENTIFIED TRADEMARK APPLICATION WAS ABANDONED IN FULL ON 03/03/2016 FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON:See also this video interview of TRI's CEO Mr. Chao, but maybe listen to it with some grain and salt. However, the video shows Sailfish OS running on the promised Turing Phone, mentioning that the production is due to start in the mid of May and that there will be other products during this year too. I remain skeptic on this.
NO RESPONSE TO THE OFFICE ACTION MAILED ON 09/02/2015 WAS RECEIVED IN THE UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE (USPTO) WITHIN THE SIX-MONTH RESPONSE PERIOD
Read also: Follow up post sharing news via Finland (Updated)
Original post, February 26, 2016:
There's a warning in the end, but let's start with a laugh
TRI has founded a new office, currently located in a desktop drawer of a lawyer in Finland. These cubic centimeters are a welcome add to TRI's actual space, as their earlier HQ is a virtual one in San Francisco, U.S.
Well, virtual employees fits anywhere. Or does TRI really have 51-200, as they claim on LinkedIn? While TRI figures out how their real employees might fit into the new HQ drawer in Helsinki, or into "Salocon Valley" (Salo, Finland), let's put the jokes aside and get real.
|Juha Sipilä, The Prime Minister of Finland.|
Photo by Juha Rahkonen to IL
After Microsoft closed a factory in Salo, Finland (earlier Nokia production line) on the last summer, many people were left unemployed there. Even the current Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipilä, who had been leading the company delivering the factory production lines, shared his sorrow on July 2015. On the same news:
"- - but it wouldn't surprise me at all if a new mobile manufacturer would build up a company around this knowledge," Sipilä shared.According to Sipilä, a possible new manufacturer might do well with specialized devices instead of mass production phones:
"Kind of special phones which yet doesn't have a large supply, like specially encrypted and sheltered phones, for which there's expertise in Finland," Sipilä continued.In November 2015 The Government of Finland, lead by Mr. Sipilä announced to deliver 22M Euro via the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation TEKES. Out of that amount, at least 5M are delivered to innovative companies in Salo. In addition also Microsoft has agreed to give some support:
"However, it is a good thing that Microsoft has promised to bear social responsibility beyond the statutory level," states the Prime Minister Office
So, why not Finland... I don't find it surprising that TRI founded a company to Salo, Finland just one month later on December 22, 2015. And I do believe that there will be production in Salocon Valley by them, at least as long as the paycheck of employees comes via support from The Government of Finland.
Operating system switch from Android to Sailfish OS for the promised Turing Phone, announced on February 5, 2016 by TRI, seemingly came out of the bushes. Surprisingly it left even customers who had paid for this phone already back in 2013 wondering what they actually paid for.
Well, those customers didn't pay directly of this model. They bought a perk in Indiegogo for an earlier phone model Quasar IV by QSAlpha, a company later acquired by TRI. The Quasar IV never saw the daylight, but TRI has promised all Quasar IV campaign contributors the latest model of Turing Phone:
The current CEO of TRI is also the founder of both TRI and QSAlpha. The switch of OS happened after his visit to Google's headquarters, in a situation where Jolla was desperately looking for new partners, six weeks after the TRI office in Finland was founded.
On the reasons on signing a deal with Jolla and switching to Finnish mobile operating system I can only speculate:
Unfortunately, with any financing...
...the Turing Phone still can't be delivered with the current schedule and specs. I might be able to shoot down even TRI's unfinished security solution, but that's pretty technical so I'm choosing their interesting material instead. Ever heard of Liquidmorphium "tm"? The trademark is in quotes for a reason:
OFFICE ACTION ISSUED - CLARIFICATION NEEDED" (source)
Hey, just a bit of clarification needed? Sorry, but...
TRI's Liquidmorphium seems to be developed by CalTech, belonging to a serie of amorphous bulk metal alloys 2.5 times stronger than titanium. CalTech develops liquidmetals, and these alloys really exists, but
Liquidmetal is exclusively licensed by Apple for all commercial products. Apple renewed their licence for 2016 on last summer.
TRI has not solved the issue with the Trademarks Office since September 2015, and the trademark is due to be rejected. TRI might need to update the Turing Phone specs and use some time testing with possible other materials. That will take much more than two months.
UPDATE, February 28, 2016: See the comments sections for clarification on how I ended up with my conclusions above. Thanks to anonymous for all his/her related comments.
Shot down by Apple... Any hope for TRI then?
Hopes for a new phone might survive, but not with the current specs, and not with the current release schedule for April 2016.
Just forget that, it'll be neverdonedinium!If the company comes out with another material and solves a bunch of other issues, and if they have financing for a new product, no problem. Salo in Finland is an excellent place to manufacture new devices. So let's give them a fair try, but let's also be cautious on participating in any possible pre-order campaigns.
Cautious especially as the QSAlpha is not the only failed crowdfunding campaign around, another key person at TRI gathered contributions from babies parents. Jolla's comment on this was received on February 15, 2016:
"We are not aware of this", replied Jani Jääskeläinen, Head of Business development at Jolla.The campaign in question is Milk Nanny by Wicoz Inc., the co-founder currently working as the Chief Business Development Officer at TRI.
Jolla was pretty careful on most of my other questions, sharing that they can't comment on the details of their agreement with TRI. But in general:
"Via our own background we understand the risks related to mobile phone device business very well, and due to that we always advance step by step with our [business] customers", Mr. Jääskeläinen shared to us.
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Sources: linked in the post
Cover image: TRI on Instagram
Published: 2016-02-26 13:48 UTC
Updated: 2016-05-16 08:29 UTC