It was a fun ride while it lasted, Jide. The company that promised the ultimate desktop fork of Android — complete with floating windows, mouse and keyboard support, a start bar surrogate, file system, and more — has announced it will no longer sell to consumers. Development on “all existing products,” including the Remix OS software and the company’s hardware offerings, will stop immediately. Anyone who backed Jide’s products on Kickstarter (like this Remix OS-powered TV box) will get a full refund; the repayment process will start on August 15th.
The company isn’t dead, though, and says its new focus will be catering to businesses instead. “Over the past year, we received an increasing number of inquiries from enterprises in various industries, and began helping them build great tools for their organizations,” Jide said in a press statement. “Given our existing resources, we decided to focus our company efforts solely on the enterprise space moving forward.”
It’s not clear if this work will include continuing to develop Android as a desktop operating system, but it seems unlikely given the company’s unequivocal statement that development on Remix OS has stopped. We’ve reached out to Jide to confirm this.
Jide previously sold its vision of desktop Android as a cheap, lightweight computing solution for individuals and businesses alike. Earlier this year, it even previewed a version of Remix OS that lived on a smartphone but could power a PC, just like Microsoft’s Continuum. Back then, Jide co-founder David Ko told The Verge that the wide range of Android apps available and the free price of download would attract customers to Remix OS. “If your phone can replace [your PC], it’s a huge saving, and has a big impact to productivity,” said Ko.
This wasn’t enough, though, and Jide’s vision has had to fight against a number of factors, including Google’s fledgling efforts to put Android apps on a Chromebook; the increased popularity of the Chromebook itself, especially in education; and Apple’s push to position the iPad as a desktop replacement. (Arguably, the latter shouldn’t have affected Jide’s sales pitch given the difference in price, but it certainly wouldn’t have helped the company grab any customers in the West.)
In its press statement Jide thanked its “incredible community” for their support over the years, and said it was proud of what it had managed to achieve. Unfortunately for fans, however, the Jide journey looks like it’s over.