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Who Would Actually Build an Ubuntu Smartphone? 230

Posted by timothy
from the small-but-dedicated-band-of-belgian-craftsmen dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "When Canonical whipped back the curtain from its upcoming Ubuntu for smartphones, it set off a flurry of blogosphere speculation about the open-source operating system's chances on the open market. But which company would actually build such a device? Apple and Research In Motion and Nokia are all out of the running, for very obvious reasons. Motorola, as a subsidiary of Google, is also unlikely to leap on the Ubuntu bandwagon. While Hewlett-Packard has flirted with smartphones in the past, most notably after its Palm acquisition, the company doesn't seem too focused on that segment at the moment. That leaves manufacturers such as HTC, which currently offer devices running either Google Android or Windows Phone. But given Android's popularity, it might prove difficult for Canonical to convince these manufacturers to do more than release a token Ubuntu device—especially if Google and Microsoft apply counter-pressure."
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Who Would Actually Build an Ubuntu Smartphone?

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  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MacDork (560499) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:55AM (#42462513) Journal
    Give me a ubuntu rom that works and I'll install it myself.
  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:01PM (#42462607)

    I would like to do actual development on a smart phone, and why not? It has more hundreds of times the computing power of mainframe I, as a student, shared with the entire university!

    I want an app that lets me use any computer and keyboard to connect to my phone, and use it as a gateway to the cloud, to hold my personal work, etc.

  • by Psyborgue (699890) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:42PM (#42463253) Homepage Journal
    I made that mistake the first time I bought a smartphone. It's running CM10, and i'll probably bring it higher than that until it ceases to be supported, but it's not an easy device to install a custom ROM on. For me it's Nexus from now on. At least then I know the boot-loader is going to be unlock-able and i'll probably get official updates for a very long time if I choose to go that route (i'm currently doing that with my Nexus 7, which I love).
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, 2013 @01:03PM (#42463569)

    Do you mean migrating from Ubuntu to another distro on PCs like a lot of people are doing? Because it's been clear for awhile that the problem is that Shuttleworth is now trying way too hard to be the next Steve Jobs. And so the Ubuntu name dies not with a bang, but a whimper, being cheaply commercialized and spread too thin across its 7 remaining users.

    -- Ethanol-fueled

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @01:04PM (#42463581) Homepage Journal

    ...and yet the anti-Googlers on Slashdot were assuring us, yesterday, that the huge advantage of this system is that it would be "truely open" rather than Google's "impossible to fork" Android...

    You know, they still haven't released Ubuntu for Android to the public, and that's a much more interesting project. I'm not holding out for this to ever be released, despite the plethora of open phones we have these days and the supposed use of an Android kernel.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @01:16PM (#42463719)

    Same ones that sell Nexus?

    Or ones that just let you have a sim card and get out of your way?

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SolitaryMan (538416) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @01:41PM (#42464135) Homepage Journal

    Same here.

    I think this is the right strategy to let geeks play with it first and solve all the problems. THEN try to sell it to the general public.

    Personally, I would definitely want to try this. Hell, I would even buy a new device for this, if needed.

  • by lpevey (115393) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @01:44PM (#42464165)

    The thing is, a year or two ago, I would have bought one. Until recently, I ran Ubuntu as my primary desktop since Dapper (before that, I was a RedHat person), so you would think I would be part of the primary target group. But, if my own feelings are in any way indicative, this is going to be a very tough sell. Even I gave up hope for Ubuntu (and linux) after numerous annoyances and bugs...things were getting worse each year, not better.

    - The Ubuntu One annoyance started it for me.
    - The Gnome 3 fiasco. "We just don't care what our users think. If we build it, they will come. Oh, wait, don't leave... Come back!" Nope, we're gone.
    - The Unity fiasco. Worse than Windows 8. Really. (OK, I'll be honest: I haven't used Windows 8. It could be just as bad. But it's bad.)
    - The Amazon search fiasco. Wow. Privacy, anyone?
    - The ongoing hostility toward anything closed being available on linux (because god forbid we users actually have a choice).

    Given the last two items, why would a nerd who is protesting Apple's closed system ever want to choose Ubuntu?

    Nerds like to tinker. We pride ourselves on it. But we also pride ourselves on using the best tool for the job. That is no longer Ubuntu.

    Ubuntu is completely misreading their market.

    My switch: I have been using Win 7 for about 6 months now, and I love it. There are also smaller smaller things that I didn't even notice were wrong until I switched: When transferring large files on my network with NFS, I always got random Nautilus crashes from time to time. I just assumed it was my router or something, and never really had time to look into it. I lived with it. No such issues with Windows 7 shares. Dragging and dropping large folders from one computer to another has never been easier for me. I could kick myself for being so stubborn that I didn't switch sooner.

  • by Patch86 (1465427) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @02:04PM (#42464433)

    I would buy one, I think, depending on details. Since the death of MeeGo, there hasn't been a serious GNU/Linux based phone on the market. If Ubuntu can deliver a phone with something approaching the same feature set as they do in their full desktop distro, then it would be exactly what I've always wanted from a Smartphone.

    I know you're being snide, but a reminder that Ubuntu is still the most popular Linux distro; although it is no-longer flavour of the month with the Slashdot crowd, it still has a large enough following to be a serious player.

    And hey, Unity is always being criticised as looking like a phone/tablet OS shoehorned onto a desktop...

  • by Psyborgue (699890) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @03:10PM (#42465309) Homepage Journal
    Are you saying a more advanced user isn't capable of installing and using an alternative window manager or running a very simple command to disable Amazon searches? I get what you're saying and you have a valid point, but what's going on here is a lot more than just complaining about Ubuntu's focus. It's seemingly an opposition to Ubuntu for anybody. It's throwing the one hope for Linux on the desktop under the bus on idealistic and group-think grounds. It's unrealistic idealism, elitism and smug superiority. There will always bee niche distros and even Linux from scratch if you really want, but it doesn't make Ubuntu bad, or even a bad choice for power-users / developers.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead

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