Canonical aims for sub $400 Ubuntu-based smart phone

It’s still several months away from hitting the market but an official of Linux distribution maker Canonical is dropping hints about the new smart phone it is developing.

TheInquirer.net reports that  CEO Mark Shuttleworth told this week’s CeBIT conference in Germany that the Ubuntu Edge devices, which will be made by Spain’s BQ and China’s Meizu will cost between US$200 and $400.

The operating system will be a mobile version of Canonical’s Ubuntu OS.

Whether Canadian wireless carriers will be interested in adding another operating system to their offerings hasn’t been determined.

“We’re going with the higher end because we want people who are looking for a very sharp, beautiful experience and because our ambition is to be selling the future PC, the future personal computing engine,” he said.

It’s a smart strategy, I think, because there are a lot of buyers who want a smart phone but aren’t willing to pay top dollar for the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy handset.

Funded in part by some 25,000 backers who donated money through crowdsourcing, Canonical says it has received support from some carriers, two of which – Verizon and T-Mobile – operate in the U.S.

What will make it different is the idea that a Ubuntu Edge can be plugged into a monitor and with a keyboard function as a computer.

More details about the handsets and the application ecosystem are yet to be released.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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