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.