Last month we found out that Mark Shuttleworth’s Canonical would be bringing some Ubuntu magic to the annual Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. Not content to wait out the next four days until the event starts we received word that there are now two official handset manufacturers already signed up to bring us Ubuntu phones before the end of 2014.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu, as well as Spanish smartphone e-reader and Android tablet maker bq have promised handsets running the smaller screen version of Ubuntu before the end of the year. And while we may not have heard their names mentioned on our shores too often, both of them are relatively big deals in their respective countries. Shuttleworth also took the opportunity to say that some more smartphone manufacturers with household names would appear some time in 2015 with Ubuntu flavoured handsets of their own.
There were also confirmations on some of the first apps that we’ll get on Ubuntu phones with Evernote, LastPass, VLC and Grooveshark already on the way. We’re expecting to see Ubuntu phones in South Africa sooner rather than later with MTN already signed up as part of the Carrier Advisory Group along with the likes of Vodafone, EE, T-Mobile USA, Three Group, Deutsche Telekom, Verizon, Telstra and Portugal Telecom.
Hopefully we see phones of the calibre of the Ubuntu EDGE crowd funding campaign that failed so spectacularly last year, but considering the fledgling nature of the OS and the rediculous price tag that a phone of that nature would draw, we’re managing our expectations.
We’re going to make sure to pop past the other Linux-based OS stand at Mobile World Congress next week to see if we can spy any of the new handsets and give them a test so keep an eye on our site.