Ubuntu Smartphones Set To Ship In 2014

By Prarthito Maity email: p.maity@mobilenapps.com | Feb 20, 2013 07:02 AM EST

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While Ubuntu-based tablets have created a bit of a stir among all those who look forward to new technology, the new question that arises is as to when an Ubuntu smartphone will make an appearance.

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Per reports, the Ubuntu-running smartphones won’t be available until 2014, although smartphone friendly version of the operating system — Ubuntu 13.10 — will be made available publicly in October with developer preview builds available this week.

Although the smartphones were previously expected to be available by October this year, Ubuntu boss Mark Shuttleworth says that's a mistake, and it is likely that the smartphones won’t start shipping until early 2014.

Shuttleworth explained that although devices, along with their Oss, will be ready by this year, the devices themselves would probably still need months of carrier testing before they are finally made official for users.

During a conference call about Ubuntu's new touchscreen tablet interface, according to The Verge, “Shuttleworth told us that the company is working with a mystery OEM partner on two devices, both low-end and high-end smartphones, but that those devices might be branded and controlled to some degree by the cellular carrier that ends up selling them.”

“It's a strategy similar to that of Tizen, a rival Linux-based operating system.”

The discussion originally began with Shuttleworth fielding questions about whether Ubuntu could make profits from the mobile operating system. As an answer, the boss stated that the company is making efforts to establish Ubuntu as a brand.

He said that this “solves a lot of problems for us if people go into a store and see Ubuntu branding,” but at the same time, he also stated that the company doesn't essentially have that much control over what its partners actually do with the operating system. He said that since it’s open source, it’s possible for people to inflict some kind of damage to it.

“Shuttleworth mentioned that he expects the new high-end Ubuntu smartphone to be software updatable to Ubuntu 14.04 at some point, which would add the new tablet UI — you could theoretically dock your smartphone with a larger touchscreen and be able to multitask with a tablet-sized app and a phone-sized app side by side,” The Verge adds.

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