For users that’ve tried the Ubuntu Touch experience in smartphones and tablets over the past several weeks or months, you know good and well that it’s nearly ready for mainstream users – but not quite. As it were, Canonical community manager Jono Bacon spoke up on the situation this week, suggesting that they’ll not be ready to deliver any devices before 2015. As for the Ubuntu Edge we saw last year – that’s no longer a device that’ll be produced at all.
Speaking with Reddit on the subject, Bacon suggested that any short-term goals with the group will be seeking out smaller manufacturers for the pushing of the Ubuntu on a small scale. It is through these smaller OEMs that Bacon hopes they can send a message to the larger companies that an Ubuntu handset can sell well.
“Longer-term we would love to see the major OEM/Carriers shipping Ubuntu handsets. This is a long road though with many components, and I would be surprised if we see anything like this before 2015. When the major OEMs/Carriers ship, this is when many of the ISVs will be on-board too.
In the shorter-term there are smaller OEMs who serve a smaller region who see great opportunity in Ubuntu, and their costs and risk are smaller for them to trial a device. This is where we will likely see the first handsets shipping.” – Canonical community manager Jono Bacon
Bacon also suggests that the Ubuntu Edge – as it existed in the crowd-funding venture in 2013 – will not be put into production. Instead, said Bacon, “I think it would tie Canonical up in knots delivering a very specific device rather than focusing our efforts on making Ubuntu work well for other OEMs who can ship it.”
The team found working with the Edge to be “very helpful” in their efforts to work with manufacturers and carriers, not to mention seeing the relatively massive support flaring up in the community and the press over the past year.
“We are a software company, not a hardware company. I think we are better off leaving the hardware companies to do this and we will focus on building a fantastic platform that they can harness.” – Canonical community manager Jono Bacon
As a bit of a bonus, Bacon also spoke briefly about the Ubuntu TV platform. When asked what happened to the Ubuntu TV platform chatted about in past years, Bacon suggested that “it is still alive”, but that they’re prioritizing the phone and tablet worlds – as well as maintaining the desktop environment. “When the phone and tablet work is done we will converge the desktop and then get to TV.”