TRI’s Turing Phone has had our attention ever since last April, when the security-focused company promised to bring consumers a strong and secure smartphone in an incredibly sleek package. The phone was originally supposed to ship in December, but after a series of delays and refunds to early backers, the handset’s ship date ended up being pushed back until March 2016. Even though most of TRI’s promises with the Turing Phone sounded like a pipe dream, we remained hopeful.
But after hearing this news today, it’s a little difficult to keep hope alive. Why, you ask? Not only is the phone going to miss its Q1 2016 deadline, the “super-secure” device will also take a drastic turn with its software.
TRI just sent out a statement to backers explaining that the Turing Phone will be delivered sometime in April 2016. Now, this is hardly the worst news in this announcement, as the phone’s ship date is only being pushed back one month. The interesting part is when we start talking about software… TRI is ditching Android for Sailfish OS.
That’s right, the Turing Phone will no longer run Android. It’d be one thing if the company was offering two versions of the handset, one with Android for early backers and one with Sailfish OS for other consumers, but that’s not the case here. In the announcement letter to backers, TRI tries to lessen the blow by reassuring users that Sailfish OS is able to run Android apps. Which, it does, but that doesn’t matter.
Turing Phone first look: a focus on security, inside and out
“Sailfish OS runs exceptionally fast on the Turing”, says TRI. “You will not have to worry about performance issues with Turing’s Snapdragon 801 because Sailfish OS has been optimized to run fast on your Turing Phone.” This is supposed to make users okay with the fact that it’s no longer shipping with Android. TRI goes on to say that Sailfish OS is the world’s fastest operating system, and the Turing Phone, with its Snapdragon 801 processor, is the world’s fastest mobile device. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up.
Here’s the letter TRI sent out to its backers:
Dear Turing Fans,
You will be pleased to know that we have ironed out the final development tasks before we deliver the Turing Phone to your hands. We fully expect the Turing Phone to be delivered in the month of April 2016.
Many of you have asked numerous times through our Facebook fan page as well as emailed us about our OS development. We can now confirm that TRI has chosen to drop Android and use Jolla’s Sailfish OS. Sailfish OS is now running perfectly on the Turing Phone and we have started the final OS software testing phase.
Sailfish OS runs exceptionally fast on the Turing. You will not have to worry about performance issues with Turing’s Snapdragon 801 because Sailfish OS has been optimized to run fast on your Turing Phone. The Turing Phone will still be able to run Android Apps on the Sailfish OS without issue. An Android application store will be available for you to download your favorite apps.
The Sailfish OS is an evolved continuation of the Linux MeeGo OS previously developed by an alliance of Nokia and Intel. MeeGo mobile software platform was created through the merging of Moblin and the Maemo OS originally developed by Nokia.
This essentially means you have one of the world’s fastest mobile device running the fastest mobile OS with the capability of running your favorite apps in a secure environment.
TRI will also be hosting its first Turing Developers Conference (TDC) during Q2 2016.
We can’t wait to get the phones out to your hands. Thank you so much for your continued patience and support for the Turing Project.
Turing Phone Team | Turing Robotic Industries
I want to be clear on something – Sailfish OS is a cool operating system and has tons of potential. But the fact that TRI dropped Android in favor of Sailfish OS for no viable reason is beyond a bad decision, for both marketing and PR purposes.
Again, if you aren’t planning on canceling your pre-order for some reason, TRI says the device will ship out by April 2016. What are your thoughts? Is this whole bait-and-switch business an okay move for the company, or is it just as farfetched as I’m imagining? Let us know what you think in the comments.