We spent a bit of hands-on time with Ubuntu for smartphones during CES. If you remember back, this is the mobile version of Ubuntu and it has been demonstrated running on the Galaxy Nexus. It looks like a bit of good news has arrived though, talk of availability. Except, as we often see with smartphone releases, this one is looking like it will initially only be available in limited markets.
The details are coming by way of a recent Wall Street Journal report which notes that Ubuntu for smartphones will be launching in October. According to Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu for smartphones will be launching in two large geographic markets. The key here, he has yet to reveal which two. When asked about North America, Shuttleworth said that is “absolutely a key market for Ubuntu.”
Aside from launching in October, Shuttleworth also said that a developer preview will be available later this month. The developer preview will be available for download in “late February” and should be good for those looking to get a head start on app development. Or, we suppose it may also be nice for someone that is looking to play and happens to have a spare Galaxy Nexus laying around.
One likely important factor surrounding a US launch is going to be the carriers. Further details from Shuttleworth note that Ubuntu for smartphones has attracted some interest from carriers. There was not any mention of specific carriers, however there was a comment about how some were “eager” to break up what Google and Apple have going with Android and iOS at the moment. Either way, we are more than a bit curious to get Ubuntu for smartphones up and running on a Galaxy Nexus of our own, though we must admit that we are not all that certain how well it will do in the mobile operating system wars.
[via Wall Street Journal]