Ubuntu Touch phone launches pushed till 2015

January 15, 2014

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Canonical began teasing an Ubuntu Touch hardware partner back in December. At the time Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth mentioned how they had concluded their first set of agreements. Shuttleworth didn't offer any specifics in terms of who the partner(s) would be, however at the time he was suggesting these devices would begin showing up later in 2014. It seems there has been a bit of a change in plan though, and now those handsets are not expected to arrive until sometime net year.

This updated timeline was noticed by the folks at HotHardware and comes by way of a recent Reddit AMA that was done with Canonical community manager Jono Bacon. During the AMA, he mentioned he "would be surprised if we see anything like this before 2015." Beyond the general 2015 timeline, there wasn't anything further mentioned in terms of when. Or for that matter, who will be making these devices.

While the Reddit AMA wasn't entirely focused on the bad news, there were some other bits worth mentioning. Bacon also touched on how Canonical didn't have any "fancy integration" in the works between Ubuntu Touch smartphones and other Ubuntu devices. He also brought up the Indiegogo campaign that Canonical had for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone.


Those looking back will remember the Ubuntu Edge Indiegogo campaign saw great success in terms of the pledged dollar amount, but also that it failed to reach the set goal amount. Basically, that meant the campaign was over and the handset would not be entering into production. While some may have been holding out hope of seeing a re-introduction of the Ubuntu Edge, it doesn't appear that will be happening.

Further comments from Bacon during the AMA touched on how Canonical doesn't "have any plans to put the Ubuntu Edge into production." Stepping aside from the plans of Canonical, he also mentioned how he supports this decision. To that point, Bacon said he feels this would "tie Canonical up in knots delivering a very specific device." Instead, this means they can focus their effort on "making Ubuntu work well for other OEMs."

Otherwise, while Canonical has Ubuntu Touch available for download at the moment, we recently learned they would be dropping support for some handsets. Basically, it seems they are going to focus on one smartphone and one tablet in terms of a reference model. For now, those devices include the Nexus 4 and 2013 WiFi Nexus 7.

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  • Louie Avila

    I would even consider just focusing on tablets and not phones. Similar to what the iPod was to the iPhone. Get some wins and experience under the belt, sell a few then jump on phones longer term. Competing for phone percentages will be tough but have a multi login user device to compete against the Kindle and Google store apps may be a better path for success.

  • V_Kinzer

    I would much rather canonical focus on tablets. Right now Android still has some problems in the tablet space (example: google docs on the tablet is awful despite the fact that you throw a bluetooth keyboard on a tablet and it should be an amazing experience). There is space for them to really provide something unique that is appropriate to that space. However phones . . . yeah phones are pretty much locked down. I choose a phone based on it’s integration with google services and the number of fun side apps it has. That’s a hard feature for them to compete with.

  • greg S

    this has kinda gotten out of hand listen to Bacon’s origional Q&A or chech him out on reddit for Christs sake he didn’t say they are pushing the launch just that it will be a while to convince someone enormous to make a phone there should still be some smaller OEM’s with phones coming out