3 Reasons Why Ubuntu Smartphone Will Succeed


This year we should see the first Ubuntu smartphone launched with demo devices most likely being on display at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As far as we know, China’s Meizu may be just one of the launch partners with more OEMs likely to join the party in no time at all. Here we want to explain why we think Ubuntu smartphone(s) will change the game for good.

1. One device to rule them all

Forget about your laptop. A high-end Ubuntu smartphone should be able to get you through the day. You will need a big screen when you want the desktop-like experience but that shouldn’t come as problem — you can get one of those pico projectors and have a full office in your pocket.

2. App support

While most nascent platforms struggle with app support, Ubuntu doesn’t have that problem. The popular Linux distribution already has a thriving eco-system and it’s just about optimizing these apps for a small screen experience. Many of the popular mobile apps have been already announced for Ubuntu Touch so we expect quite a few titles to choose from.

3. Great hardware

Ubuntu is a solid platform that requires solid hardware. If I had to bet, Ubuntu smartphones will all use quad-core chips to ensure great user experience. In its crowdfunding campaign, Canonical (the maker of Ubuntu) was trying to build a top-notch smartphone with best specs possible. The hope is they will require similar hardware from their OEM partners.

Yeah, I can’t wait for the first Ubuntu smartphone. How about you?

  • 3arn0wl

    Since the market is moving towards touch-screen technology, Linux(proper) on tablets and smartphones will come: and Ubuntu’s already there… to a degree. I’d like to see other phone manufacturers follow Meizu’s lead, and help flash it onto devices.

  • DracheMitch

    1. Pico projectors will most likely never catch on, because they require something to project against. WiDi, Miracast and screencasting is where the technology has gone. People have also proven that they don’t want just one device. They want some combination of devices (Phone, Desktop, Laptop, Tablet). The market has also proven that they want desktop to be designed for desktop and touch to be designed for touch. The market has shown it does not have an interest (at least right now) in hybrid desktop/touch.

    2. Microsoft has already proven that just bolting touch onto an OS does not work, Windows 8/8.1 sales are absolutely abysmal. You have to completely rethink touch on both a phone and a tablet. It took Google 3 iterations of a tablet OS before anyone starting buying Android tablets. It doesn’t matter what desktop apps you have. Mobile users are interested in the established MOBILE apps, not the established DESKTOP apps. Desktop is irrelevant in mobile, of which Microsoft is sorely aware.

    3. Canonical has already proven that they can’t find hardware partners. This is a well-established company that had to resort to a kickstarter to get funding for a phone that didn’t meet its funding goals. Like desktop Ubuntu, they have retreated to just getting it to work on available hardware. This makes a lot of sense, and should have been the goal in the first place Google Nexus devices are designed for development, have easily unlocked bootloaders, and are cheap to buy for very good hardware.

    • 3arn0wl

      1. I admit I want more than one device, though not for the reasons you think: I want a device and a family server ‘cus I don’t trust the cloud. I’m not sure you’re looking in the same marketplace as me though: any number of laptops have touchscreen capabilities.

      2. Canonical haven’t made the same mistake as Microsoft, since nothing’s bolted onto anything else: it’s a well thought through System. Touch looks great and seems functional from the demos I’ve seen of it, and 13.10 on desktop is fab. Desktop apps matter hugely – I want to be able to use apps like LibreOffice when I’m on the go: it’s the raison d’etre of Touch. Apple are HUGELY aware that people wanted M$Office on their phones and ipads – they prevented it happening as long as possible in the hope that their suite would take off… Desktop on a touchscreen for me please.

      3. We’re told that Canonical are in talks with a number of OEMs at the moment – I’ve no reason to doubt that. And Meizu have confirmed that they’re bringing out a phone running Ubuntu Touch. Canonical should continue working to make Touch available on different devices. There’s a huge market waiting for it.

  • WorkingWriter

    I certainly hope you’re right that we will get a Touch-powered device this year. Ubuntu has put a lot of thought and energy behind its convergence vision, and it will likely perform much better than Windows 8. The remaining open question is what kind of hardware will it be asked to run on.

  • Michael Washington

    Instead of selling this phone to people who are already going to use it (Ubuntu Users) why not showcase how easy this phone interacts with Windows Desktops, or Mac Machines? This is being marketed all wrong.

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