Ubuntu phones to ship this year from two manufacturers

Ubuntu logoCanonical has announced that the first Ubuntu-powered phones will ship later this year, with devices coming from two manufacturers: BQ in Spain and Meizu in China. According to Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, both companies have a track record of breaking into new markets with mid-to-high-end phones. Shuttleworth said while Canonical was happy to work with "household names," the company initially wanted to find partners for whom Canonical can be a "significant part of their story."

Details of the phones that the companies would build were not on offer—though Canonical said that more information would be available at Mobile World Congress next week. But Shuttleworth pointed to the companies' existing products as an indication of what the future would hold. BQ has pushed the use of dual-SIM phones, while Meizu has followed a strategy of only having a single hardware model in the market at a time. The latter's current MX3 is reasonably high-end, with a Samsung Exynos Octo processor and a peculiar 1800×1080 screen resolution.

Ubuntu phones to ship this year from two manufacturers

While both companies have only sold into a few markets with their existing models—BQ focused on Europe and Meizu on China, Hong Kong, Israel, and Russia—the Ubuntu devices will be available globally when bought online.

Shuttleworth described Ubuntu as the "open alternative to Android," and said that it would be appealing to all those who were attracted by Android's open source elements. It will support applications built with HTML5, using the Blink rendering engine and Cordova runtime. Google has promoted the same pairing for running Chrome applications on Android, and Shuttleworth said that this should provide a high degree of application compatibility between the platforms. There will also be some native applications, developed with Qt, such as Evernote.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: OSes, smartphones, Ubuntu

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