Ubuntu for smartphones grabs global headlines


on 15 February 2013

An interview with Chris Kenyon, VP Sales and Marketing, and Sian Aherne, Media and Analyst Relations at Canonical.

Following the early January launch of Ubuntu running on smartphones, many media pundits have recognised the need for a credible new player in the mobile OS arena.

TechCrunch said “Android and iOS have a big lead and are jostling for the top two spots. The race for #3 just got a lot more interesting,” while USA Today pointed out that “there are many people who aren’t satisfied with the relative duopoly on smartphone operating systems, and they want more options.”

Several media outlets focused on Ubuntu’s novel desktop and phone positioning. The Verge said “…the premise sounds intoxicating: a single, open source OS that will span all your devices, ensure a unified app ecosystem and cross-device compatibility, and customize the experience to your particular needs.”

Meanwhile, the platform’s design and functionality appealed widely: “…it looks more elegant than Android, and more functional than Windows Phone,” said VentureBeat, while PC Pro said “Ubuntu’s smartphone OS is strikingly different from its rivals.”

Just two days after the launch, more than 160 unique pieces of coverage in leading titles had been published, with most of the copy striking a distinctly positive tone.

Other reviews worth looking at include:

“The launch of Ubuntu for phones generated tremendous interest amongst press, bloggers and future users”, explains Sian Aherne (Media and Analyst Relations at Canonical). “It rapidly spread through the internet, became the most read and shared technology story on the colossal BBC News website, captured a top ten Twitter trending spot and drew over 1.7M views of the launch video.”

Meanwhile, CES says Yes

CES 2013 gave many people the chance see Ubuntu on smartphones in person. It was not just the industry experts who were curious to see the OS — global music star and technophile Will.i.am made a surprise visit to see Ubuntu in action. “Will.i.am thought the demonstration was very cool, especially the way music and video are handled by Ubuntu. He asked many insightful questions such as how the OS would compete and whether it is truly open, to which, of course, the answer is ‘yes’”, says Chris Kenyon, VP Sales & Marketing, Canonical.

OEMs, silicon chip vendors, mobile operators and other industry players conveyed their solid backing for the platform. Moreover, many developers expressed excitement about the app strategy of native and HTML5 apps, and are anxious to start developing for Ubuntu. Several device makers also confirmed their support. “The response at CES wildly exceeded our expectations with some very serious industry players, including major silicon vendors, committing to Ubuntu”, explains Chris Kenyon.

The team at Canonical is now gearing up for more excitement at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona in February. So if you’re going to MWC make sure you visit the Ubuntu stand. You’ll find Ubuntu in Hall 8.1 and booth #8.1D30 at the Mobile World Congress, Fira Grand Via, Av. Joan Carles I, 64, 08908 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona

Find out more about Ubuntu in the media ›

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