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December 17, 2013

Ubuntu Touch will get a native device

Can it dent the smartphone market?

By Cbr Rolling Blog

Earlier this year you may remember the Ubuntu Edge failing to meet its IndieGoGo target (despite setting a record for crowdfunding).

The Edge was the idea of Canonical and it was to be an Ubuntu powered smartphone that if materialized would have been an impressive display of open source left-field thinking in the smartphone market. A real shame it failed.

But thankfully Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical, has made comments alluding to a new Linux-running smartphone to be made in 2014.

Speaking to CNET, Shuttleworth said "We have concluded our first set of agreements to ship Ubuntu on mobile phones.

"We’ve shifted gears from ‘making a concept’ to ‘it’s going to ship.’ That has a big impact on the team."

He didn’t say who an initial partner might be, but it’s exciting that high-end smartphones running Ubuntu will be available next year. I was sold on the idea ever since I saw the Edge.

Furthermore, Shuttleworth has said that Canonical are in ‘board-level discussions’ with more than one hardware maker, and the company is also engaging with "four household brands."

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Ubuntu Touch is ofcourse already available for download on Nexus devices, but the news that it’ll get its own hardware device is what we’ve all been waiting for. Unlike Microsoft, Apple and Android, Ubuntu’s OS is the same for all platforms, so all we need is someone to develop a handy docking point and voila, our smartphone can turn into our mobile PC.

I sense a disturbance in the force is coming. With Firefox OS, Sailfish OS, Tizen and now Ubuntu Touch, who can wrestle the phone OS market from Android and iOS? Open is the new black.

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