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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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  • by eksith (2776419) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:59AM (#42462587) Homepage
    I'm still waiting for a simple, pain-free, way to turn my old phones (not just Android ones) into simple general purpose computers by wiping the existing ROM. Cyanogenmod isn't available for my clunker.
    Isn't that sad? A state-of-the-art piece of technology is only a clunker because its handicapped.
  • by Psyborgue (699890) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:47PM (#42463343) Homepage Journal
    Ubuntu is too popular to be cool here. As soon as something becomes popular, it ceases to be cool. Yeah yeah, unity sucks balls bla bla bla... but you don't have to use that window manager. Canonical has made Ubuntu successful. I'm not happy about the Amazon thing either, but you can at least turn it off (and I might not even, as I do shop on Amazon).
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jareth-0205 (525594) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:48PM (#42463347) Homepage

    Give me a ubuntu rom that works and I'll install it myself.

    Yeah, I talked to a Ubuntu guy at an Android conference about this who was showing off a dual Android-Ubuntu runnin Mororola Atrix II. His position was fairly much 'no', since they want to sell this to manufacturers as a feature they can have. Shame, though I can see their point of view.

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

    by gbjbaanb (229885) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @05:12PM (#42467071)

    I think this is the current plan [firstpost.com]:

    The new mobile OS will presently only work on the Google Nexus Phone, (the one which was released by Samsung). Ubuntu will release an open-source code as a file and users can install it on their Nexus phone. The OS will replace Android once you install it.

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

    by Miamicanes (730264) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @07:49PM (#42469189)

    UbuntuPhone is technically a parasite on Android (because it depends on Android's make-believe-open hardware to make it past the gatekeepers doing their best to control American mobile networks), but it's likely to end up as a symbiotic relationship. My guess is that if Ubuntu Phone is viable 5 years from now, it'll basically be a native-code framework that wraps Android. Your 'launcher' app will be native "Ubuntu", but you'll have at least one instance of DalvikVM spawned and running in the background on one or more cores, and 97% of the apps running on an "Ubuntu" phone will be Android anyway.

    It might even be a good thing for both Google AND Canonical. Google still gets politely ignored by Qualcomm (mostly because Qualcomm owns enough IP to make it nearly impossible to build a CDMA phone that can legally be sold in the US without using their chips, so Google's threats to take Motorola's business elsewhere ring hollow), but Canonical has one strength that Google has kind of been teetering a bit at lately... it still has a dominant CEO who's a kind of a loose cannon. Google hasn't been pwn3d by Wall Street, but they're big enough now that they have to at least go through the motions of pretending they care what institutional investors want. Shuttleworth can still openly say and do things that would get Google hauled in front of the SEC, FTC, and/or Congress for corporate blasphemy.

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