Chinese phone maker Meizu had already announced plans to launch a smartphone running a version of the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Now Meizu and Canonical have signed an agreement to launch the first of those phones in early 2015.
While Meizu’s phones will run software based on Ubuntu, the company is developing its own custom version which it calls Flyme OS (not to be confused with the Android-based version of Flyme which the company currently offers).
Canonical has been working on Ubuntu for phones and tablets for a few years. The operating system borrows some design cues from the desktop/notebook version of Ubuntu, but it’s designed to run a new breed of apps designed for touchscreen displays.
Under the hood the operating shares a lot of code with the desktop version of Ubuntu — and there are plans to let users connect an external display and other accessories to run desktop apps. But it’s not clear if the first Ubuntu/Flyme phones to ship will include this feature at launch.
Meizu plans to ship its first phones with Ubuntu software in China and Europe.