Ubuntu for smartphones: Will this penguin fly?

So, Canonical just announced Ubuntu for Phones, a version of Ubuntu for smartphones. But this is not a version you can download and root your smartphone with, just a development project for vendors and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

But will the target audience bite? And if they do, how serious will they be committed to the platform?

Those are very important questions because Ubuntu for Phones is not Canonical’s first attempt to push Ubuntu beyond the traditional PC space.

The other attempts are Ubuntu for Android and Ubuntu TV. In Ubuntu TV: Can it gain a foothold in the market place?, I wrote that:

… the zillion dollar/euro/rouble/rupee/yuan question is, will it fly? Will TV makers care enough to even bother? Considering that Canonical has had a tough time trying to persuade PC vendors to load Ubuntu on desktop computers, how can it get TV makers to give Ubuntu TV a foothold in the market segment? A market segment that already features Boxee, Google TV, … and a few others.

So far, I’ve not read about a smart TV powered by Ubuntu TV, at least not one that you can buy online or from your local electronics store, and I’ve not seen any evidence that OEMs are even interested at this point. And it’s been slightly more than a year since Ubuntu TV was announced.

Again, the question is, will Ubuntu for Phones gain the serious OEM following that its siblings have not be able to? I don’t know, but the most important trend indicator at this stage does not look good: The Operators and OEMs page on the project’s site does not list any OEMs, not one. That tells you how much OEM-clout (OEM-convincing power) Canonical has, or does not have.

I recall when Android when announced. The crème de la crème of OEMs and industry partners were in tow. A few years later, look at Android.

While I don’t think that Ubuntu for Phones will make any significant impact in the market (at least in the short term – measured in years), I am actually very impressed by what Canonical is doing. Mark Shuttleworth has all the right ideas, and he’s doing everything he can to make them work.

His company is pushing the type of projects that SUSE, Mandriva S.A, and Red Hat should have been into. But SUSE sold out to Microsoft, Red Hat decided that it was only interested in the server spaces, and Mandriva’s management were clueless. I hope Canonical succeeds.

The phone interface, by the way, looks beautiful. Here are a couple of screen shots.
Ubuntu for phones

In blue.
Ubuntu Phone in blue

And part of the video introduction by Mark Shuttleworth.

You may read Jono Bacon’s blog entry and access more information on the project’s home page.

Related Posts

Solution to freezing Ubiquity while attempting to dual-boot Ubuntu with Windows 10 So for the past two days, I've been attempting to set up a dual-boot system with Ubuntu 15.04 and Windows 10 on a computer with UEFI firmware. But at ...
Ubuntu 11.10 review Ubuntu Desktop 11.10, code-named Oneiric Ocelot, is the latest stable release of Ubuntu, a Linux distribution whose development is sponsored by Canoni...
Opera 26 released. Install it on Linux Mint 17.1 and Ubuntu 14.10 I don't quite remember the last time I used Opera browser, but it's been a very long time ago. I didn't even think that the company is still developin...
Install Razor-qt on Ubuntu 12.10 Razor-qt is a relatively new desktop environment built atop Qt technologies. From the ground up, it is designed to be resource-friendly, so that it ca...
Install Unity Tweak Tool on Ubuntu 14.10 For both new and experienced users, most especially for new users, System Settings, Ubuntu's graphical management application, offers a simple, point-...
An attempt to dual-boot Ubuntu 13.10 and Windows 8 on a Lenovo IdeaCenter K450 I had access to a friend's store-bought (OEM) Windows 8 computer for just one day. The computer is a Lenovo model. Specifically the Lenovo IdeaCenter ...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

ContainerizeThis 2016 is a free, 2-day conference for all things containers and big data. Featured, will be presentations and free, hands-on workshops. Learn more at ContainerizeThis.com

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


3 Comments

  1. I don’t want it to fly, I just WANT ONE!!!
    Android is too restrictive for my liking. This might be the first device that is better than Maemo 5 (N900).

  2. The ubuntu smartphone will fly just about as far as if you stood up straight with your hands to your sides with this phone in hand and let go of it. The question should be what will break on the phone once it hits the ground.

    • Oh yes, the Ubuntu smartphone will fly… so high… far beyond the skies that only those who have been to outer space would buy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*