First Ubuntu smartphones coming in October
The first devices running Ubuntu’s smartphone operating system will become available in October. This is according to Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth (Canonical being the company behind Ubuntu).
This is great news, considering that back when the mobile OS was first unveiled we were only told to expect some actual hardware sometime next year.
Canonical plans to release an unfinished version of Ubuntu for phones later this month, so would-be developers will be able to install it on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and play with it. And develop for it. As is the case in the desktop-focused Linux world, most of the main apps in the OS are yet to be made, and they will become reality through a collaborative effort that is set to start once the first version is released.
So what the aforementioned announcement actually says is that the first ‘finished’ version of the OS will be out on the first smartphones in October – which is probably set to happily coincide with the launch of Ubuntu 13.10 for desktops and laptops. If that’s the case, expect the grand mobile OS release to happen around the end of the month.
Shuttleworth said devices will initially become available in “two large geographic markets”. He didn’t name either, but one of them may be China (or Asia as a whole), since Ubuntu’s got pretty good brand recognition over there on the desktop side. Also, it was probably easier to convince some of the famous Chinese ‘white-box’ device makers to use Ubuntu than the big smartphone makers. This is just speculation, though. And while Shuttleworth did say that North America is going to be a key market for Ubuntu for phones, that doesn’t necessarily mean this new OS will make its way over there from day one. We’ll have to wait and see.