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. Unless Canonical can enlist significant hardware partners to build top-of-the-line devices, then Ubuntu risks becoming a minor footnote in the history of smartphones. Without widely available devices, customers simply won’t sign on, and developers won’t devote the resources necessary to build apps and other software that every mobile platform needs to survive."
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