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Who Would Actually Build an Ubuntu Smartphone?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the small-but-dedicated-band-of-belgian-craftsmen dept.

Cellphones 230

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 cares? (5, Insightful)

MacDork (560499) | about 2 years ago | (#42462513)

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

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462645)

... case closed ...

Re:Who cares? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462731)

... case closed ...

No, dammit, keep that case open! I want to put in an aftermarket battery. I have my soldering iron right here.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462765)

And there will be installfests so people with Android can easily migrate! Just like Ubuntu is on PCs nowadays.

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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? (2)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 2 years ago | (#42463213)

Precisely what I was hoping for... yet no download link and no list of supported devices. Anybody likely to want to use Linux is also likely to be technically capable to install one -- especially on a Nexus device. Trying to market this to the general public is destined to failure without the ability to at the very least run Android apps and have access to the Google Play store.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463939)

In the PR fluff piece they mention a developer sdk and rom compatible with a 'google nexus' device will be released soon.

As is it doesn't sound quite ready yet. They'd probably be more than happy just to have some early adopters to help out with testing at this stage. The general public aren't the marketing target for them yet, perhaps that will start nearer to release with 14.04.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463281)

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

You, and maybe a few hundred others.

Installing a custom ROM, even assuming you have a phone that's unlocked (or unlockable) enough to accept one, is a lot to ask of the average phone user. Even on the desktop, most people can't be bothered to try out an alternative OS, and that's with things like LiveCDs that make the process painless and virtually risk-free. You really expect people to plug in their phones, back them up, wipe them, and try out a new OS and UI?

Hell, I can't even get my family to sync their phones to their PCs once a month.

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 2 years ago | (#42463347)

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? (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#42463581)

...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.

Re:Who cares? (1)

slacka (713188) | about 2 years ago | (#42463353)

Native Android? Hell Yeah! I would love to flash this on my S2. I suffered with a laggy HTML5 based WebOS Pre, then loved my silky smooth 3GS, but hated the walled garden, so moved again to a Galaxy S2. My S2’s H/W by all accounts blows my old 3GS out of the water,and yet I still find the Android experience more laggy than my 3 year old 3GS. I’m sure much of this is the Java VM holding Android back. I can’t wait to have an Linux phone with the native speed of IOS.

Before buying one, I'd want to test out this swipe based UI. If I was happy with it, and the all of my critical Apps were available, then yes, I would buy an Ubuntu phone.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463533)

Searching for Linux phone with speed of IOS? Look no further: Nokia N9 is in the spotlight :P

PS. Yes, posting as Anonymous coward :D

Re:Who cares? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#42463673)

yet I still find the Android experience more laggy than my 3 year old 3GS

Could be the hardware. After doing a lot of comparison shopping when I needed a new phone I decided early on that I wanted a galaxy S and landed on the Blaze. Although it wasn't the newest (Samsung were hyping the Galaxy SIII at the time, hard) I landed on the Blaze for its dual core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S3 processor, plus being 4G, it was a no-brainer. The SIII was considerably more expensive as I wanted a month-to-month bill, not a two year contract, which was the only deal they offered with the SIII. And Its as snappy as I could ask for in my opinion.

So you're saying... (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42463453)

...2013 will be the year of Ubuntu Phone??

don't get the cart before the horse (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 years ago | (#42462565)

Who would buy the ubuntu phone? How many units?

Re:don't get the cart before the horse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462649)

Who would buy an Ubuntu desktop? Most people I know buy either a cheap computer and install it manually, or make their own box and install it on their own.

Re:don't get the cart before the horse (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#42463461)

So maybe newegg is the OEM for the uPhone.

Re:don't get the cart before the horse (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#42463113)

More to the point, what carrier would support it. An all too easy to hack phone, would get in a way of a lot of the cost extra features.

Re:don't get the cart before the horse (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42463719)

Same ones that sell Nexus?

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

build your own (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462581)

there was a german startup that wanted to let you build your own smart phone, although the idea never fully materialized. this combined with an open source phone os could find itself a space on the smartphone shelf. the idea of being able to fully customize the phone could have a place in the enterprise.

Can I run it on my old phone? (3, Interesting)

eksith (2776419) | about 2 years ago | (#42462587)

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.

Re:Can I run it on my old phone? (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 2 years ago | (#42462687)

Isn't that sad? A state-of-the-art piece of technology is only a clunker because its handicapped.

Tell me about it...
-- Stephen Hawking

Re:Can I run it on my old phone? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 years ago | (#42463149)

Wait, Stephen Hawking logs into slashdot with the username Rosco P. Coltrane? I knew he had a sense of humor, but that's ridiculous.

Re:Can I run it on my old phone? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#42463489)

Hawking is still looking for the idjit who took the brakes off his wheelchair.

Re:Can I run it on my old phone? (2)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 2 years ago | (#42463551)

Bazinga!

[John]

Re:Can I run it on my old phone? (4, Insightful)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 2 years ago | (#42463253)

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:Can I run it on my old phone? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42463767)

Please name the devices.
There are many ROMS cyanygenmod is just one.

If you bought a device with a locked bootloader you will have to blame the man you see in the mirror.

Re:Can I run it on my old phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463865)

Isn't that sad? A state-of-the-art piece of technology is only a clunker because its handicapped.

So... which is it, state-of-the-art or handicapped? The two are mutually exclusive in their definition.

And, of course a piece of hardware will be considered a clunker if it's handicapped. Is that not the point of the term, "clunker"? Or is there some magical world you live in where three-year-old phones are somehow both state-of-the-art and handicapped, but not handicapped so it isn't a clunker, but not state-of-the-art because it IS a clunker, or... what the fuck are you saying, man?

Or just do both (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42462589)

Install Android, and install Ubuntu's user space in a chroot [ubuntu.com] . Connecting the machine to HDMI would display a prompt to start the X11 session, just as connecting an Android 2.x device to a PC used to display a prompt to mount the internal storage.

Re:Or just do both (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 2 years ago | (#42462919)

Connecting the machine to HDMI would display a prompt to start the X11 session,

The point of a phone is that you can use it "on the go". Hopefully, you wouldn't need an external HDMI display to access the Ubuntu, that would kinda defeat the purpose... (Yes, it's nice on a hotel room TV, but what about Starbucks, bus stops, chair lifts, boring dinners, or any of the other occasions where you might surf using your pocket device...)

Re:Or just do both (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#42463605)

Where do old phones go to die?

I have old PCs lingering on being useful despite the fact that they are unsuitable for their primary purpose anymore. Why not allow the same thing for phones and tablets?

An old phone could be a dedicated HTPC or a low profile server. Kind of the opposite of virtualization.

Re:Or just do both (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42463645)

Hopefully, you wouldn't need an external HDMI display to access the Ubuntu, that would kinda defeat the purpose

You could just tap the "Ubuntu" icon to launch your X session. It'd just pop up automatically when you dock to a monitor.

Yes, it's nice on a hotel room TV

That or a home TV.

but what about Starbucks, bus stops

I carry a netbook for these situations. With their discontinuation, one might consider using a laptop-style dock for the phone, something Motorola didn't end up pulling off with its Atrix phone.

chair lifts, boring dinners, or any of the other occasions where you might surf using your pocket device

In the dual-boot scenario I mentioned, Android still works. So would your X session, provided that your applications have been modified to use a touch-friendly widget set.

Re:Or just do both (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42463799)

Better yet, drive the screen separately from the other display and use it for Mouse and keyboard only.

Re:Or just do both (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463607)

As an average user you lost me at Install...

Re:Or just do both (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42463823)

The manufacturer of the handset would do the installing, just as it currently does.

Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (5, Insightful)

paulsnx2 (453081) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462737)

And I would like you to fuck off, but that's not going to happen either.

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (0)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#42463095)

No you wouldn't, you think you would, but you wouldn't.

1. If you lose your phone, then all your work is gone.
2. If your program is going to run an anything but your phone you will need to move it off to another system anyways.
3. Oddly enough you will not be happy with mainframe only features you are going to use the extra features your phone has and slow it right back to mainframe speed. At least the mainframe is designed for many people using the system anyways.
4. Why the hell is your university still teaching software development on a mainframe, That was so out of date 20 years ago!

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463475)

I use a mainframe everyday. Just because you don't use it doesn't mean others don't.

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#42463641)

Oh I use a mainframe nearly every day, and I bitch and moan about it every day, and make sure the higher ups are embarrassed by the system.

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463895)

If they're a financial institution what's to be embarrassed about? True failsafes built into the hardware, more secure than you'd get anywhere else and created specifically for high throughput/processing of data.

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (1)

pmontra (738736) | about 2 years ago | (#42463515)

I think you have some points, but only number 1 and 3.
Point 1 is taken into account by those things called network and usb port (backups!) but yes, it's easier to lose a small device than a laptop. Or destroy it by a fall, or getting it stolen.
Point 2, that's not different from developing on any computer. If the programs I create for a living are going to run on customers' hw and pay my bills I need to move them off my computer, right? Maybe you were hinting at compatibility issues.
Point 3 will be taken into account by more powerful cpus and more RAM. We just have to wait because I don't think we're still there.
Point 4, well, that was to be modded funny :-)

I add two more points.
Point 5: batteries are still not good enough. If you want the phone to do what a computer does and for that long, we need a battery as large as a laptop's one. That's impossible, so this phone is going to be perpetually plugged to main socket whenever somebody is using it as a computer.
Point 6: we're going to need a screen and a keyboard (the phone itself might be the mouse or the touchpad) so that almost defeats all the portability of the system.

Nevertheless I'd love to have only one device for doing everything I do on my phone and my laptop. My guess? Five to ten years for something usable, probably more for something that I'd use.

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (2)

div_2n (525075) | about 2 years ago | (#42463519)

No you wouldn't, you think you would, but you wouldn't.

1. If you lose your phone, then all your work is gone.

False. Ubuntu has cloud storage built into it if you choose to use it.

2. If your program is going to run an anything but your phone you will need to move it off to another system anyways.

LOLWUT? You can compile for target architectures that are different from your own. This has been built into compilers for a very long time now.

Unless you are aware of this and meant that if the target architecture is anything other than your phone, you will have to move it off anyway. Still -- why would that matter? By the way, why would someone need to do this anyway? Canonical is shooting for a complete solution -- i.e. your phone IS your desktop when you need it to be.

3. Oddly enough you will not be happy with mainframe only features you are going to use the extra features your phone has and slow it right back to mainframe speed. At least the mainframe is designed for many people using the system anyways.

The latest phone architectures have quite a bit of computing power built into them. With smaller process manufacturing on the horizon, I'd say we'll see that power go up quite a bit soon.

4. Why the hell is your university still teaching software development on a mainframe, That was so out of date 20 years ago!

Not exactly. Mainframes still exist today. But just because programming work is being done on a mainframe doesn't mean much (see my reply to #2). But even still -- especially with intro classes, this is a very good thing because it puts all students on the same platform with the same guaranteed experience when they go to compile.

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (2)

needsomemoola (966634) | about 2 years ago | (#42463695)

"Mainframes" are alive, well, and pretty powerful depending on your use case. IBM's zSeries is probably the most prevalent. They're nothing to laugh at either. We run hundreds of VMs on the ones we run in our datacenter. They are mostly used for enterprise use, so end users don't really see or hear about the progress and technology behind them anymore since the concept is... like you said, old news as of 20 years ago.

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463177)

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.

You can.
It's called Ubuntu on Android
You can connect via SSH or VNC. It's already here.

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42463867)

I am familiar with running linux in a chroot on android, but I cannot find any links for this Ubuntu on Android thing. It seems like they want to sell it. Is there a package I am just missing?

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#42463387)

Perhaps you should tell your University to get rid of their Cray-1 and upgrade their mainframe to something which was manufactured this century.

Re:Many of us welcome true mobile computing... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42463821)

Any reason you can't just install an ssh server on your phone?

Or is that not cloud/whizbang/synergistic enough for you?

LMGTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462615)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=oem+smartphone+manufacturers

The real question is (0, Troll)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 2 years ago | (#42462643)

Who wants Ubuntu full-stop? They've ruined a perfectly good PC distro, and now they're about to release a useless cellphone OS nobody wants.

Canonical seems dedicated on making themselves undesirable.

Re:The real question is (1, Troll)

dstyle5 (702493) | about 2 years ago | (#42462831)

I would love a mobile OS with Amazon.com baked into it! I'm also looking forward to the Firefox OS, Gnome 4 and Windows 9. The future of operating systems looks amazing! Less functionality, same great taste!

Re:The real question is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462845)

They've ruined a perfectly good PC distro...

I always find statements like these curious. As far as distros go, Ubuntu was always just meh, even (or especially) among easy-to-use distros. Canonical was able to build up a fair amount of momentum--which was good for them and, to a lesser extent, good for desktop Linux generally--but there were always better alternatives.

So, while you--speaking to nobody in particular--may have used and liked Ubuntu, there's not much point in bemoaning Canonical's recent choices. You don't owe them anything. Just move to a better distro and be happy.

Re:The real question is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463097)

Oh don't give me your "be happy" shit for fucks sake. The fact that companies don't owe owe anything to the users that made their success possible in the first place, users that used massively their product based on principles they later turned down, is total bollocks, to begin with.

But even if that weren't the case, does that mean that everyone just have to "shut up and be happy" and don't talk about companies making shit?

Hell no! You seem to think the only publicity a company has to get from users is good publicity, and that "bad" publicity the users are supposed to not talk about.

YOU go and be happy, and let others talk about what they asses want, you fuck.-

Re:The real question is (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#42463755)

The GP said that the users don't owe anything to Canonical, not the other way around.

Re:The real question is (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463127)

He's referring to Debian, I think, as the perfectly good distro ruined by Canonical's alterations.

Re:The real question is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463425)

Ruined? Go fuck yourself. There's not one bit in Debian altered by Canonical. Download the media, check the signatures. I think it's somewhere at aytch tee tee pee colon slash slash debian dot org or something.

Re:The real question is (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | about 2 years ago | (#42463725)

Bollocks

Debian has remained pure whilst Canonical has taken the good work done by the Debian guys/gals and hacked it around an awful lot.
A good number of people I know who were Ubuntu users have gone back to Debian, moved sideways to Mint or even leapt into the Fedora world.
I don't use Ubuntu or Debian (I'm more of a RH guy) but I will stick up for the principles that Debian stands for any day of the week.
 

Re:The real question is (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463013)

What are you talking about Rosco? After years of various GNU/Linux distributions I settled in which Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS during the Summer of 2012 and have not looked back. I still prefer Debian GNU/Linux on my servers but on the desktop Ubuntu Linux wins handily. There is a market for users whom just want to get things done without any fuss or muss. Even as a very experienced IT practitioner I can appreciate the ease of use of Ubuntu Linux. One of the great things about F/LOSS is choice.

Re:The real question is (4, Interesting)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 2 years ago | (#42463343)

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:The real question is (0)

Minwee (522556) | about 2 years ago | (#42463787)

Ubuntu is too popular to be cool here. As soon as something becomes popular, it ceases to be cool.

More importantly, it ceases to do power management properly, stops displaying borders and menus on X windows, and suffers from mysterious slowdowns and needs to reboot every week or so when previous versions had handled all of those things properly right out of the box. That has nothing to do with being popular.

Yeah yeah, unity sucks balls bla bla bla... but you don't have to use that window manager.

And you don't have to use that derivative of Debian either. There are plenty of alternatives, which is really the whole point.

Re:The real question is (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#42463327)

what i would like to see is a distro that either

1 has ROOT completely unlocked (and no nag screen when you dare to login to XWindows under ROOT)
or
2 has tracked down each and every unneeded use of ROOT and fixed them
  A mounting volumes R/W as a user
  B editing USER settings files (btw WHYTF does this even require hand editing)
  C any of a dozen or more different "Gotcha! You need ROOT for this" (with a 10% chance that you need actual ROOT for this)
type things

oh and SU is not an answer since SU turns into FU very quickly if you have to do more than one thing or split between terminal and GUI

and on a side note whats with hiding settings files in several different files (some of which override others) even if you limit to USER HOME files??

Re:The real question is (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#42463445)

It's called sudoers. Try it sometime.
Sudoers man page [die.net]

Re:The real question is (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#42463589)

does not address the combo of Root Nazi and unneeded requiring of Root

how do i set things up so that %User% is treated as being the same as Root (just with a different home folder)

and Sudoers just controls who can use SU

bad critter no biscuit

Re:The real question is (2)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#42463835)

Sudoers controls who can use sudo, not su. There's a difference. Sudo temporarily escalates a user's privileges to the same as root for a given command. "su" changes the user's shell to the same as root. "su - username" logs you in as root themselves. If you type cd ~, you will go to /root (or wherever the root home directory is).

%User% ALL = (ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL
is the line you are looking for. Add it to the very end of your sudoers file (visudo). Whenever you type sudo, you will not have to enter a password.

Why would anyone want this phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462675)

I am honestly curious: Why would anyone want Ubuntu on a phone? Unless it gets a large user base there will be no software or support for it. What is it going to do better than iOS and Android to make tens of millions of people want it? It's not going to be easier to use than iOS. It's not going to be cheaper than Android.

Re:Why would anyone want this phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462821)

What will it do better? Why, not have a Twitter or Facebook native app. There you go - massive productivity wins because of not having those.

Netbook + Google Voice (1)

Technician (215283) | about 2 years ago | (#42462681)

Does a netbook, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, and Google voice count. It saves airtime when travelling + free unlimited texting. A larger screen and keyboard are helpful for the baby boomers nearing retirement. When away from WiFi, it rolls over to a cell so no calls are lost.

I want Ubuntu on mobile as much as I want Ubuntu o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462695)

that is - not at all

Initially, it will be a custom ROM... (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#42462713)

I have little doubt that they are interested in getting a phone maker to make a phone for them. If I were to guess, they will first target the Google Nexus devices.

Kindle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462753)

from Amazon. Like...hello..?

Who would build an Ubuntu desktop? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 2 years ago | (#42462819)

Phones will probably stop sucking at almost exactly the same time that you can go buy a "white box" phone which doesn't have any OS preloaded at all.

Or better yet, when Coolermaster and Silverstone make phone enclosures, Asus and Gigabyte sell phone boards, etc..

Re:Who would build an Ubuntu desktop? (2)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 2 years ago | (#42463359)

It's never happened with Laptops. Why would it happen with desktops. Enclosures for such small devices.... not going to happen.

Samsung? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462879)

Samsung makes a phone for probably every OS there is.

Re:Samsung? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463291)

You mean like iOS and RIM's OS?

Seriously... (1)

ADRA (37398) | about 2 years ago | (#42462899)

We already have too many OS contenders in the market already. Canonical should instead made applications if they're hot to trot in order to jump into the hot cell phone markets. That said, the expenential bell curve on smart phones is soon to start rounding off once the majority of dumb phone users are forced into the upgrade due to availability. Once we're there, people will be looking for the next best hot exponential bell curve market (currently tablets) ad infinitum... The only areas unaffected by smart phones will be in the ultra-poor places where even a few bucks can be a financial burden.

FOCUS on what you're good at, which is apparently linux desktops awesome. Jump on the latest buzz words with half baked notions of being the next greatest Android/IOS and you'll most likely end up sharing shelf-space with WebOS, Maemo, and all the other failed to adopt platforms left in the wreckage.

Re:Seriously... (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 2 years ago | (#42463139)

they have been on this we wanna shoot are self in the foot sense unity.

Re:Seriously... (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 2 years ago | (#42463477)

I think i'm one of the only people who actually likes Unity. I know it's cool to hate it but personal tastes differ. And i'm somebody who used to use E16.

Re:Seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463317)

You have already written already too many times already.

Samsung (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#42462909)

They tried Tizen in a Galaxy S3, and were planning to release a Tizen phone. Launching an ubuntu one, or at least, having it available for dual boot or optional OS, would not be so bad. In general, take out Apple, RIM, MS (if they make a phone like they did a tablet) and maybe Nokia, and all the other makers could try models with it instead of android, bada, sailfish, tizen, webos, firefox os or symbian, if is good enough. All those alternative OSs have their own good points, but having available an alternative OS if you want to give some special use to your phone (i.e. as enterprise phone more fitting than blackberry if good enough apps coming to the ubuntu version) gives extra value to your hardware.

huawei? (2)

rroman (2627559) | about 2 years ago | (#42462959)

I think that Asian companies are not out of the game. They almost always use some kind of open solution for their devices, since nobody wants proprietary OS no apps for that. For now, they use Android, but they can try Ubuntu in the future too.

Who would the carrier be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42462961)

The OP asks a good question, but to me, my concern is who would the carrier be? I suppose to at least a partial extent, that would be dictated by whether it's CDMA or GSM. That seems to be where the real cost is. I hate paying $90-100/month for voice and data.

Who ? (1, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#42463003)

Does a cellphone even work from inside the TARDIS ?

Re:Who ? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463341)

Rose's did

Re:Who ? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#42463439)

after a bit of jiggery pokery yes they do in fact Martha Jones? used her (loaned) cell phone to call The Doctor back to earth during that sontaren gas thing.

and of course during The Stolen Earth Team Who rigged up a way to call The Doctor when they were out of timesync by a couple seconds.

but anyway as long as you can have a BinBlob for the radio stuff i think an OS phone could work

heck are they working on the hooks for Phones in the main Kernel??

The Chinese (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463045)

The Chinese will load any free OS onto a cheap POS phone and ship it. And sell millions. That's why Andriod has such amazing numbers, not because of US/Europe, but because of China.

It's a fucking Android Phone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463049)

Nobody will make an Ubuntu phone. Ubuntu have said they will use an Android kernel and associated blobs so the manufacturer will just be making an Android phone that doesn't completely lock down it's bootloader.

Why not RIM? (1)

alphax45 (675119) | about 2 years ago | (#42463057)

Why couldn't RIM do this? It would be another revenue stream and they could add BBM to it adding even more money :)

Betteridge's Law says: (1)

balbus000 (1793324) | about 2 years ago | (#42463123)

No

More like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463269)

Who Would Actually Use a Ubuntu Smartphone?

ni6ga (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463271)

I can't see Verizon activating my white box phone (1)

Grand Facade (35180) | about 2 years ago | (#42463345)

It would allow me to access the full capabilities of my handheld, instead of the crippled giveaway shite they now have.
Their walled garden and practice of disabling Features and then charging monthly fees to enable them would end.

The only way that would ever happen is if the whole industry shifted to an open model and they lost market share.
Until someone comes along the an open plan and a competitive network, to get the ball rolling.

I would gladly pay retail for my own handset and escape the crippled device and exorbitant fees.
And Google's ever present butt sniffing.

Re:I can't see Verizon activating my white box pho (1)

sohmc (595388) | about 2 years ago | (#42463709)

Verizon, et al (with the possible exception of Sprint) have a large enough market share that the small percentage of hackers (classical definition) won't make a dent in their bottom line. This is assisted by the high cost to enter the market. Unfortunately, unless there is some sort of apocalypse or some other technical catastrophic, this will require legislative solution.

It's kind of ironic that the iPhone was successful for AT&T. Apple was the first company (at least I'm aware of) that told the carriers, "No, we're going to make the phone. You have no say. You will buy it as-is or we go to someone else." Verizon said no because they wanted to lock down the phone. AT&T, knowing the number of acolytes willing to switch over to get an Apple device, said, "Sure!" Granted, this changed down the road, with AT&T getting more and more features. But, for the first time, a cell phone manufacturer dictated to a carrier the terms of how a phone would work.

Unlike Apple, Canonical doesn't have the name brand. And their fans are too small in number to take this much of a risk. I imagine that people who will use the Ubuntu interface will be people like you and me, who load the ROM directly on the phone.

I just hope that the source will be released so we can all benefit.

No company is required here (1)

lsolano (398432) | about 2 years ago | (#42463423)

If you've read /. recently, Linux users themselves will build their own Ubuntu phone with a raspberry pi.

I smell Kickstarter scam (ahem project). (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 2 years ago | (#42463627)

Taking bets on how soon someone posts a kickstarter project scam that promises nothing more then pairing a free OS to some POS handset and how many thousands of fools will pay $100 for a free T-Shirt and empty promises.

Other manufacturers (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 2 years ago | (#42463633)

My answer to this one is the same as my response to the "who would buy RIM" question. There are lots of companies out there that currently manufacture PCs, laptops or commodity tablets but who don't manufacture phones (or not in any great quantity). I can see them as being the main target.

Lenovo is one possibility. Acer ans Asus are others. Dell has tried and failed at phones before, and could be game for another attempt (and they have a history of selling Ubuntu devices). And the dozens of others, big and small.

And that's before we get started on the phone manufacturers who have either not achieved success with Android, or not attempted a smartphone at all yet. Panasonic come to mind, as do Huawei and Alcatel.

Companies that might build an Ubuntu Phone (1)

monk (1958) | about 2 years ago | (#42463679)

But which company would actually build such a device?

Amazon is a possibility if they don't want to have all of their eggs in the Android basket. They've proven they can manage manufacturing, and no one does distribution better.

Re:Companies that might build an Ubuntu Phone (1)

Grand Facade (35180) | about 2 years ago | (#42463937)

The real obstacle is a competitive network that will activate it .

Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463715)

Samsung is already producing phones based on Tizen afterall.

I don't think the OS is a selling point. (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#42463841)

Must say I'm inclined to agree with the article, for the very simple reason that I don't think the OS on a phone is a very good selling point.

The selling point is what you can do with the phone. How it somehow makes life easier/better/more fun for you. Exactly what about Ubuntu (Phone Edition) is going to give it the edge over Android, iOS or even Blackberry OS 10?

'cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42463883)

I would buy one because I'm bored with iOS (iphone 5 was a big meh over iphone 4), I already have an windows phone and it's more locked up than iOS, android is just a choppy as it always has been and sailfish isn't here yet. It's boring and I want something exciting.

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