Canonical secures mystery hardware partner for 2014 Ubuntu Touch smartphone, other OEMs interested

Canonical secures mystery hardware partner for 2014 Ubuntu Touch smartphone, other OEMs interestedCanonical announced its Ubuntu Touch OS way back in January this year, and while the platform officially landed with Nexus support back in October, the guys fell $20 million short of securing $32 million in crowd-funding for their own Ubuntu Edge.

Plan B? Seduce an established hardware partner, and that’s exactly what Canonical’s leader of strategy and design says they’ve done.

As reported on CNET, Mark Shuttleworth has spilled various beans at the LeWeb conference, and it all sounds really quite interesting.

"We have concluded our first set of agreements to ship Ubuntu on mobile phones," says Shuttleworth. "We've shifted gears from 'making a concept' to 'it's going to ship.' That has a big impact on the team."

Furthermore, big Mark says Canonical is at “board-level” discussions with “several other” manufacturers, adding: “They sell a lot of phones all over the world, in emerging and fully emerged markets, to businesses and consumers.”

Of course, hardware aside, it remains to be seen how much of a dent Ubuntu Touch can realistically make on the smartphone market. At present, it’s absolutely dominated by Android, with the iPhone grabbing a sizeable chunk of the high end and Windows Phone making a credible assault on the entry-level market.

And there’s no shortage of players looking to make an impact, including Jolla with Sailfish OS, Samsung with Tizen, and Mozilla with its Firefox OS.

"Volume is important," muses Shuttleworth. "We want to do stuff that people use every day."

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JanSt / MOD  Dec. 12, 2013 at 16:18

Maybe HTC - they shouldn't be that busy in 2014 :p No, seriously...

Treab  Dec. 12, 2013 at 17:23

£5 says sammy are involved in this somewhere...

barrybarryk  Dec. 13, 2013 at 08:31

Nokia hail Mary perhaps?

Either way it's good news, it's a great concept and definitely where smartphones are heading in the next few years. The only real problem is if people will "get it" and if Canonical can make it work, after the last few years of Ubuntu development they've got a lot to prove.


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