The first phones running Ubuntu software are expected to ship this year, and Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth says they’ll probably sell for between $200 and $400 when they hit the streets.

He tells The Inquirer the goal was to aim for mid-range and high-end devices so that they’re powerful enough to act as both mobile phone and desktop PCs (when you connect a keyboard, mouse, and display).

ubuntu phone_07

Shuttleworth’s comments aren’t that surprising. We already knew that some of the first phone to ship with the Linux-based operating system would include a version of the Meizu MX3 and a new phone from BQ. Meizu generally delivers high-quality phones and mid-range prices, while BQ is known for offering premium devices.

Canonical isn’t the only company hoping to make a splash in the smartphone space by offering open source alternatives to Android and iOS. But Mozilla has been working with phone makers to load Firefox OS on low-cost, entry-level devices aimed at customers in developing markets while Jolla Mobile’s Sailfish OS currently runs on a single phone offered directly by the company.

Canonical seems to be hoping phones running its software will be able to compete with premium products like Apple’s iPhones or Samsung’s Galaxy line of phones. At launch Ubuntu won’t have nearly as many third-party apps as either iOS or Android. But it could appeal to open source enthusiasts… especially with the promise of eventual support for desktop apps.

via Ars Technica

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7 replies on “First Ubuntu phones will likely sell for $200 to $400”

  1. I will buy one and see if it can replace my laptop for mobile office chores. It absolutely has to have USB OTG and some kind of video output however. Blackberry Z30 does it, but real desktop class OS is for obvious reasons a better deal. If Canonical makes this happen, and work well, I’ll make the transition off Windows…. so far I haven’t had a compelling reason, for my use case, to do so. But I’ve considered it for years….

    I think Microsoft is too beholden to its partners to transition its phone product into a full blown desktop Windows variant, Apple is making too much money off its ‘app’ strategy to do it for iOS, and Google appears to be positioning its web based ChromeOS as its desktop replacement, so I think Canonical has a unique opportunity here.

  2. I’m in the US. If I can run desktop apps while not docked then I’d import one to use as a UMPC even if the phone can’t be used with my carrier.

  3. At least they won’t be ridiculously priced. I’m really interested in getting one.

  4. If I can run desktop apps when mobile and there’s a slider keyboard that works well for the terminal then I’d buy one. USB 3.0 would be nice too. That’s all assuming everything works smoothly. I remember the first Android phones. They definitely did not run smoothly.

  5. The MX3 costs $400 as an Android smartphone, so this news is not actually news.

  6. When the desktop apps start showing up it will be time to take a closer look at these phones.

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