Ubuntu Has Two Phone Partners, Launching In 2014
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 19 February 2014 at 11:50 AM EST. 20 Comments
Mark Shuttleworth has just revealed there's two manufacturing partners for Ubuntu Mobile and they will have devices shipping in 2014.

Last week I mentioned an announcement was coming next Wednesday (today) and now it's happened. Mark Shuttleworth is having a call with the "press" this morning to talk about Ubuntu's mobile strategy.

The two partners are BQ in Europe and Meizu in China. BQ will be doing high-end European devices and Meizu will help them penetrate the Chinese market. The time is "well within 2014" and will ramp up with more manufacturers in 2015. This comes as a surprise seeing consumer devices in 2014 since we weren't anticipating much until 2015.

Pricing, device specs, and more information to come in due time. Back in January we heard of Ubuntu Phone running on a Meizu phone.

More details coming as the phone call is still going on with Mark Shuttleworth.

UPDATES:

- Mark is pleased with Ubuntu's app ecosystem thus far. Pleased with apps like The Weather Channel, Twitter, and Facebook.

- Mark says their key focus is on growing their app ecosystem... He wants the top 50 apps from Android and iOS available natively on Ubuntu Touch by the time these new phones ship.

- Mark doesn't feel shipping Ubuntu on tablets will be much of a challenge since they already have relationships with many OEM partners. He feels tablets are just an extension of the PC market.

- Ubuntu on phones and tablets will be found at Mobile World Congress this month.

- The operating system name for Ubuntu on phones/tablets will just be "Ubuntu" rather than Ubuntu Touch or Ubuntu Mobile. Right now 95% of the code is shared between Ubuntu for mobile and on the desktop while by the time there's multiple Ubuntu phones they should reach 100% parity for shared code.

- For those wondering about this BQ European manufacturer... "bq is a Spanish company dedicated to the multimedia devices and 3D printers sale." Their site is BQReaders.com (Update: The company is BQ Readers and not BQ Mobile of India).

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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