No Ubuntu Touch phones before 2015, Canonical manager warns

Community manager Jono Bacon has denied that his company's hybrid operating system will be appearing on handsets this year, despite progress with manufacturers

15 Jan 2014
Ubuntu for Phones

Canonical's community manager has denied claims that the company's first Ubuntu Phones will be shipping before the end of the year, saying that it will instead be some time in 2015 before the platform reaches mainstream adoption.

Following the failure of the Ubuntu Edge crowdfunding project, which sought to raise $32 million via Indiegogo to create a flagship mobile handset based on the company's Ubuntu Touch mobile platform, Canonical head Mark Shuttleworth said that his company had scored wins with at least one major household name in the smartphone industry and was in active discussions with several more - suggesting that an Ubuntu Touch-based handset was just around the corner.

Unlike most existing smartphone operating systems, which are designed specifically for use on the go, Ubuntu Touch is designed as a hybrid platform: on a small form factor device like a smartphone, it has a touch-centric and compact user interface, but by connecting the handset to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, the interface transforms into a fully-usable Ubuntu desktop as though it were running on a traditional PC.

It's a proposition that has the company's fans interested, but Canonical community manager Jono Bacon has warned that devices are unlikely to appear until at least next year. "Longer-term we would love to see the major OEM/Carriers shipping Ubuntu handsets," Bacon explained in a post to reddit. "This is a long road though with many components, and I would be surprised if we see anything like this before 2015. When the major OEMs/Carriers ship, this is when many of the ISVs [Independent Software Vendors] will be on-board too."

For those who can't wait that long, a developer preview compatible with the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices is available for free download now.

Read more