Ubuntu is the world’s most popular Linux distro. Over the past few years, Ubuntu has increasingly solidified its position as a user-friendly and accessible way for average users to gain access to the powerful Linux operating system.
But the team behind Ubuntu wasn’t going to stop at desktop and laptop PCs. Canonical recently announced a new mobile Ubuntu OS that is designed for today’s superphones.
But will Ubuntu Phone OS be a legitimate challenger to the well-entrenched positions of iOS and Android? Here are a few advantages that Canonical claims its OS will have over existing mobile operating systems:
-Easy access to apps and content-Every edge of the phone will be used for the ultimate touchscreen experience
-More powerful apps that are deeply integrated into the OS’s interface
-HTML5 apps written for other mobile OSes will easily transfer to Ubuntu Phone OS
-Like Ubuntu itself, the mobile Ubuntu OS will be incredibly customizable, more so than any other mobile OS to date. Since Ubuntu is open source, tech-savvy phone users could do some pretty amazing things on their device.
For a more succinct explanation of why Ubuntu Phone OS could succeed, we turn to Canonical’s CEO Mark Shuttleworth, who says:
“When you turn on the Ubuntu phone you’ll see something strikingly different. You’ll see a beautiful reflection of yourself, a visualization of your life crafted by an artist, ever-changing, totally personal, and completely unique, just like you.”
We are still talking about phones here, right?
Ubuntu Phone OS release date
If Ubuntu Phone OS was released today, it would be considered a very late arrival to the mobile OS scene. But it’s not being released today, or even within the next few months. Canonical expects that Ubuntu-powered superphones will hit the market in 2014.
In 2014, who knows how far superphones will have come? With mobile technology changing on a near-daily basis, a free open source OS might be exactly what manufacturers need to unlock the full potential of their powerful devices.
Will Ubuntu Phone OS succeed?
My prediction? Ubuntu OS won’t fail. Nor will it be wildly successful. I don’t think even Canonical expects its mobile OS to capture more than a couple percentage points of the market if it’s lucky. But even a couple percentage points of the global smartphone market is a few million users, and that’s no small number.
Ubuntu Phone OS isn’t gunning for Android and iOS. It’s gunning for third place, which is currently a fight between Windows Phone and Blackberry.
If Ubuntu Phone OS can corner its niche market – the tech-savvy, customization-loving phone geeks – then we can see this mobile OS having a successful run, even if it is a relative latecomer to the game.