Canonical Announces Ubuntu Smartphones

Feb 25, 2014

Phone vendor partnerships bring Mark Shuttleworth's dream of Ubuntu on a phone a step closer to reality.

Canonical crossed a major hurdle in its effort to enter the mobile arena with the announcement that two mobile phone makers have agreed to manufacture Ubuntu smartphones. The Chinese Meizu MX3 and Spanish BQ Aquarius phones will appear in 2014 Ubuntu on the inside. Although these phones are not yet operational, prototypes appeared this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Canonical announced its plan to enter the smartphone market in 2011 and since then has been very public about rallying interest and support for the goal. The company even attempted a massive but unsuccessful crowdfunding effort last year to develop the Ubuntu Edge phone as a prototype superphone that could operate as a mobile device but still run standard Linux desktop applications. However, real traction in the smartphone market requires an alliance with a hardware vendor, and Canonical's limited success with establishing hardware partnerships had caused many to believe a real-world Ubuntu phone was still far in the future.
The agreements will give Canonical valuable experience with the smartphone business and allow them to start building a resume that could lead to future phone deals. 

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