Is this the Ubuntu Edge smartphone? Update: Yes, it is

Canonical plans to introduce something next week, and there’s a good chance it’ll be a phone-related announcement about something called Edge. While we’ll have to wait a few days for all the details, some folks did a little sleuthing around the Ubuntu website and found a series of pictures with “Edge” in the name.

And they seem to be pictures of phones.

Update: Canonical has unveiled the Ubuntu Edge. The company wants to raise $32 million in crowd-funding to build a 4.5 inch smartphone that dual boots Ubuntu and Android, and which you can connect to a dock to use as a desktop PC.

ubuntu Edge

This doesn’t necessarily mean Canonical is building its own smartphone. While some of the pictures show a handset with a boxy design and the Ubuntu logo on the back, a few other images clearly show a Samsung Galaxy Nexus running Canonical’s mobile version of Ubuntu.

That’s a phone that ships with Google Android, but which Canonical has been using as one of its primary devices for testing its new touch-friendly operating system.

I wouldn’t be surprised if “Ubuntu Edge” is a new name for the operating system that we’ve been calling Ubuntu Phone OS or Ubuntu Touch up until now, or for a reference design for an Ubuntu smartphone. A reference design would probably explain why some of the images show the back and sides of the smartphone and not just the screen.

edge_06

It’s not clear if the pictures of the unannounced phones are showing a real device or just a mockup. Canonical’s made the images inaccessible to the public, but French site Ubuntouch grabbed them a few while they were still available. A couple of additional images were posted to imgur.

Update: At least one of the imgur galleries has been removed.

The first phones running Ubuntu’s operating system are expected to ship later this year. For now you can download and run pre-release builds of the OS on a number of existing phones and tablets. It’s still pretty rough around the edges, but at this point you can make calls, surf the web, and even use a few third party apps.

via Sébastien M

  • ojdon

    I’ve pulled my Imgur album at the request of a few members on the App Developer community and Reddit considering they have 403’d the original source. Might want to update your article. :)

  • Vcoleiro1

    I wonder on the SOC they will use. They have been a bit close with Tegra at one point. Either way, launching these in this timeframe (late this year) is probably perfect timing to pick up one of the latest SOCs: S800, T4 or Baytrail

    • Prithviraj Nag

      My bet – Nvidia Tegra 4 and the Tegra 4i .. recently Mark Shuttleworth talked about having 2 reference platforms from a silicon partner (speculatively Nvidia) and giving these to 2 ODM/OEMs. Hence a total of 4 devices. Im assuming the two reference platforms are Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i (4i is the cut-down version of the 4, containing ARM Cortex A9’s as opposed to A15’s on the 4)…This is just my speculation :)

    • CyberGusa

      Bay Trail isn’t for phones… that’ll be Merrifield but that won’t come out till early next year!

      The other two are a possibility though…

  • shaneo1

    Well if that is the smartphone they intend to pump out and pitch it against other smartphones then its UGLY!!! What happened to the phrase ‘

    Elegance, distilled’ bricks do not have elegance.

  • David

    I wonder if it will have an SD card slot or (if not) whether they’re going to try and control you by forcing you on to the likes of their Ubuntu One cloud storage service; like what Apple, Amazon, Google, B&N, etc., etc. do. If it’s the latter – then no sale!

  • JebEldridge

    It’s all CGI

  • hollykick

    if it can run some android apps too it will be my platform of choice, i hate andriod .. love ubuntu .. love iOs too