Finnish company Jolla, which was created by a group of former Nokia employees, has had a difficult few months, to put it mildly. In November, the firm announced that it had been forced to "temporarily lay off" many of its staff due to serious financial difficulties, but after securing new funding in December, it said it had emerged from that "latest death valley", and that its future was "now looking more stable".
However, earlier this month, it revealed that it would not be able to fulfill all pre-orders for its new crowd-funded Tablet, saying:
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. However, you can be sure you will not end up empty handed. We might even have some positive surprises in stock for you. But more on that will follow, feel free to speculate!
Having already shipped 121 Tablets back in October, Jolla announced yesterday that it will "ship 540 units as soon as we can, starting from February".
However, the "positive surprises" that it alluded to earlier this month for those who won't get their Tablet were nowhere to be seen in its latest announcement. Instead, the best that those other backers of the project, and those who pre-ordered the device from the company's store, can hope for is a full refund - but even that doesn't appear to be guaranteed.
Jolla says that "due to the financial constraints this will happen in two parts: half of the refund will be done during Q1/2016, and the other half within a year, our financial situation permitting." Given Jolla's own admission that it has faced numerous 'death valleys', including its most recent financial struggles, it seems that those "thousands" of people who won't be getting a Tablet can only hope that the company is still around in 2017 to pay the rest of their money back to them.
Jolla will now be focusing on development of its Sailfish OS, including efforts to license it to other companies for use on their devices.