Ubuntu Touch was first announced and demoed at CES this year, on a Galaxy Nexus. Then we also saw Ubuntu Edge smartphone and the $32 million crowdfunding campaign for it, which ended up in failure, because I believe Canonical tried to charge too much for the phone ($830). Not that what it was offering wasn’t worth it (128 GB of storage, among other high-end specs), but the high storage simply made the device too expensive for a lot of people who might’ve bought if it’s priced was $600 or less, unlocked.
But at least it kept people thinking about Ubuntu on mobile, and now they’re getting ready to launch version 1.0 of Ubuntu Touch on October 17, alongside with Ubuntu 13.10 (desktop), and it also seems to be just 3 days after Google intends to launch Android 4.4, so it looks like October will be a big month in the OS world.
“We are exactly one month away from the release of [Ubuntu 13.10] Saucy Salamander,” Skaggs wrote on the 17th. “As part of that release, Ubuntu is committed to delivering an image of Ubuntu-Touch, ready to install on supported devices.”
“Only four and a half weeks to go, and phone 1.0 will be a reality!” Minier excitedly exclaimed.
Although you won’t be able to test this on a real Ubuntu phone, Canonical will support Ubuntu Touch for Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and I’m sure it will be supported on the upcoming Nexus 5, too, once they get their hands on it. Canonical says the first discrete devices running Ubuntu won’t appear until late 2013 (which means they already have something in the works), or early 2014 at most.
Canonical was promising 3 years of updates for the Ubuntu Edge, so it will be interesting to see if they will be able to promise just as much, if the phone is made by other company under their own brand. It would be nice to see another company besides Apple pushing for 3 years of upgrades, because that might make everyone else try to offer at the very least 2 years of upgrades for their phones, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for that to happen.
OEM’s have learned that we’re not being too outraged if they don’t give us that many upgrades, so they take the easy way out – by not giving us so many updates. But perhaps Ubuntu Touch will remind everyone about the importance of updates again, and show others that it can be done. We’ll learn more about it on October 17.