We heard that Canonical had secured a mystery hardware partner for a 2014 Ubuntu Touch phone back in December, and this month it was revealed that both Meizu and BQ (who?) were on board.
You’d be forgiven for frowning at those choices, but speaking at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has explained why those particular players make perfect sense.
The Shuttleworth speech bubbles are relayed by CNET, who sat down with the bearded chap in Barcelona this week.
"We are at board level with quite a few household names," begins Shuttleworth, "but with much larger institutions we're going to be a smaller part of the strategic picture when we launch. So we wanted to go out with two companies that are the right size to make a material commitment
"BQ in Europe has taken good share by concentrating on design, by knowing very clearly who they're designing for, and then thinking very carefully about the retail strategy.
"And Meizu in China, again, they've really cracked into the market by building loyalty, they've identified a particular segment, and they've been really great at working to do something those guys are passionate about.”
Ultimately, we’ll meet Ubuntu-rockin’ versions of the Meizu MX3 and BQ Aquaris in Q3 this year.
Shuttleworth sounds refreshingly realistic about the whole thing, admitting that Ubuntu Touch will be "astonishingly great in some areas" and "weak in others", adding: "We won't have 650,000 apps in the app store, so we'll get the phone in the hands of people who don't care about that first."