Russian Minister of Communications Nikolai Nikiforo has announced plans to replace Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms with new software based on Sailfish, an open-source mobile operating system developed by Finnish phone maker Jolla.
Nikiforov wants to develop a domestic platform that is less susceptible to mass surveillance, Engadget reported.
Though Sailfish technically comes from another country, its open source nature would allow for customized software. However, the bigger challenge before the government would be to convince the buyers that it’s worth switching the platform.
It comes at a time when Russia is pushing for industry independence away from Western technology as sanctions over its 2014 annexation of Crimea becomes tighter. Russia wants smartphone software that cannot be tainted by clandestine operations by the US National Security Agency.
Sailfish currently has 0.5% of the Russian market share, but the software shows promise in the country as the only fully open-source mobile software on the market.