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February 19, 2014

Tizen is a fading force, says Ubuntu’s Mark Shuttleworth

Ubuntu can compete with Android, but Tizen is no threat as 'backers seek too much control'.

By Ben Sullivan

The founder of the firm behind operating system Ubuntu, Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth, has said that "Tizen is much less of competitor today than it was six months ago."

The comments coincided with the annoucement of the two manufacturers selected to ship Ubuntu phones in 2014 – Meizu and BQ Mobile.

When asked if Samsung’s Tizen open-source operating system could pose a threat to the the success of Ubuntu in the mobile market, Shuttleworth said: "Carriers have distanced themselves from Tizen, and Samsung will repurpose it into interesting but far out products. The spirit behind Tizen was credible, but the backers are seeking too much control and it’s highly unlikely it will be adopted or shipped successfully in the mobile market. Tizen is now a fading force.

"Other new entrants are facing the same reality, and our goal is to dodge that landmine."

After last year’s Ubuntu Edge failure, Cononical announced it is set to enter the smartphone race with its Ubuntu Linux-based operating system this year, with Meizu and BQ Mobile set to initially ship the devices.

Carriers have gone unnamed for now, by mentioned that by 2015, Unbuntu phones will be on "household names."

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Shuttleworth said that the manufacturer choices were spot on as "the two manufacturers have track records for tactically bringing devices to market."

More details on the Ubuntu phones will be released next week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Photo credit: Martin Schmitt –

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