Ubuntu phone coming with new ecosystem

2013-03-06 13:02

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Cape Town - The Ubuntu phone represents a new ecosystem for mobile devices, but the company behind it says that it won't be primarily focused on Africa when it launches.

Canonical, founded by billionaire Mark Shuttleworth, plans to launch the device to the developed markets of the US and Europe first.

At the Mobile World Congress in Spain, Canonical offered attendees the opportunity to have their phones flashed to Ubuntu as the company looks to build relationships with developers ahead of the consumer launch of the platform.

Product manager for the Ubuntu programme, Richard Collins, gave News24 a few details of the device and platform set to shake up the mobile industry.

News24: Is there a release date?
Richard: We're expecting phones to become available at retail in early Q1 2014. The final codebase will become available in October this year.

News24: Who will build the hardware?
Collins: While we are unable to announce anything at this stage, we are in advanced conversations with a number of hardware manufacturers globally.

News24: Will the devices be targeted for Africa/ developing markets?
Collins: In the first phase we will focus on Asia, Western Europe and North America. The second phase to begin from mid 2014 will focus on all other markets including Africa.

News24: How will the Ubuntu integrate with apps?
Collins: Ubuntu will have its own application store, SDK and full developer offering to allow any developer to create applications to run on Ubuntu.

News24: Will Android users be able to switch their devices to the Ubuntu OS?
Collins: Ubuntu for smartphones is currently an early build which we will continue to develop over the coming months. At the moment, we recommend that only experienced developers flash their spare phones (Nexus 4 and Google Nexus models) with Ubuntu.
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