T-Mobile backs Ubuntu smartphone

T-Mobile backs Ubuntu smartphone

Summary: Verizon and T-Mobile have announced that they'll be supporting the Ubuntu phone in the United States.


When Canonical, Ubuntu's parent company, first announced its Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG), it looked like only European and Asian telecoms were interested in Ubuntu's smartphone pitch. Then, in July, Verizon threw its hat into the Ubuntu Linux smartphone ring, and now T-Mobile has joined them.

T-Mobile joins Verizon in exploring bringing the Ubuntu phone to the US market.

T-Mobile, the smallest of the major US carriers, completed its merger with MetroPCS in May. Since then T-Mobile has been hyper-aggressive in trying to improve its sales position.

In early July, the company announced its new "JUMP!" program. In it, T-Mobile customers can upgrade their phones up to twice per year. Later in July, T-Mobile starting offering the company's entire phone lineup for no upfront payment.

It thus makes perfect sense for T-Mobile to look to Ubuntu as yet another way to separate it from AT&T and Sprint. Canonical said that "T-Mobile USA is the newest member of the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group. T-Mobile USA reaches almost 300 million American consumers and business people today. As a member of the CAG, T-Mobile USA will join discussions to influence the development of Ubuntu for smartphones."

Canonical, unlike Google with Android, won't allow T-Mobile, or any carrier, too much control over the operating system's look and feel. As Jono Bacon, Ubuntu's community manager, said at OSCon, Ubuntu is striving to prevent the interface fragmentation that plagues Android. "My wife and I both had Android phones and they gave us two entirely different experiences," said Bacon. "We're avoiding that."

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Topics: Mobility, Linux, Smartphones, Telcos, Ubuntu

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  • More stuff...

    ...to push Windows off the kiosks! Keep it up!
    Tony Burzio
    • Not More stuff. Niche = Unbutu Mobile

      never going to happen. niche and it will flop. one phone sales, never compared to millions of WP/W8 backed up by Nokia & OEMS
      • THEBIGBEN2012...hate to tell you this ....BUT

        everyone in our Windows club can't wait to jump onto the Ubuntu band wangon, they really are going places..............The world of Ubuntu is on the rise.

        Message comming to you live from Umbuntu-Gnome 13.10 Alpha 2
        Over and Out
        • Linux is finally hitting the mainstream!

          Oh, wait...that happened with Android...after two decades of "this is the year of Linux!"

          The world of Ubuntu may be on the rise (it's really not...everyone I know prefers Mint), but their Indiegogo campaign sure isn't.
  • Will be interesting to see who this steals marketshare from

    Most people who buy apple phones will always buy apple phones because they are sheep. If they haven't jumped ship to Android yet, they probably won't jump ship for this.

    This phone could kill off WP8 and BlackBerry to get, what, 5% marketshare? That's not enough.

    I think the 2 most likely scenarios is that this either fails or it steals marketshare from Android.

    I hope this succeeds though. For too long, people have been calling Android "Linux" which I think is an insult to Linux.

    Kudos Canonical, best of luck with this.
    • Sheep?

      So people who simply like Apple's products are sheep? Yes, some people are in it because they want to appear cool and trendy but I'd say that is a small minority. There is a lot of positives about Apple's products. You don't have to like Apple but different strokes for different folks.

      Anyway, I agree that for this phone to succeed they are going to need to steal customers away from somebody else rather than new converts of feature phones at this point. It would behoove Apple and Google to offer innovative, exciting products rather than rest on their laurels or upstarts like Canonical will eat their lunch.

      Competition is great. Good luck Canonical.
      • There are no positives to apple's products

        None. Android and WP8 are far superior to ios. From what I've read about Canonical's plans, I have every reason to believe that this will also be far superior to ios.

        However, you and I both know that it won't kill the iphone. Too bad. The iphone should be killed.
        • There are positives

          It's all in the ecosystem.
          Michael Alan Goff
          • That's a positive?

            For me, the ecosystem is precisely why I *don't* like Apple's mobile products...
          • Yes, it's a positive

            Just because you don't like having more music to be able to purchase, more TV shows, more movies, doesn't mean we're all that... unique.
            Michael Alan Goff
        • Did Steve Jobs run over your puppy or

          Did Steve Jobs run over your puppy, or worse yet throw sand in your face when you played in his sandbox? This hatred for all things Apple has got to end. You will be getting an ulcer or blowing your mind up with this deep seeded hatred. Please, let it go. It is just one company, and you can easily buy other products - it's called choice.
          • apple has done so much to damage the computer industry

            They have held back innovation, they've are an anti-trust convicted market manipulator, they've been caught and punished by advertising standards groups for lying in their commercials, and you can't buy a mac with Linux on it. All of this under the command of steve jobs, a man who parks in handicapped spaces and abandons his children.

            They are not good corporate citizens and people need to know about this so they stop buying apple products.
          • Oh, one more thing

            apple is a patent troll. I will never forgive them for suing Samsung for making devices with rounded corners.
          • and bounce scrolling and pinch to zoom and a phone icon.

            yet I respect their products themselves, looked at in a vacuum. If they hadn't shown the kind of greedy, holier than thou company they are I would perhaps have purchased something from them.
          • ha ha ha

            They didn't. Again, you prove how clueless you are. If you go research the actual cases you will see this is just Samsung FUD to try and deflect what their own internal company documents (that came out at trial) admitted that they were slavishly copying iOS (originally iPhone OS) and the iPhone.
          • Apple has helped out the computer industry

            They're innovators in terms of tablets and the smartphone. If they hadn't done what they did, we wouldn't have Windows with a touch UI, we wouldn't have Android like it is now, we likely wouldn't have Ubuntu making a smartphone UI either. They've done a lot of good for the industry.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Microsoft had started working

            on Win8 before the first ipad was released.
          • You honestly believe

            Microsoft would have made a touch friendly UI if there wasn't a super-successful touch-based OS out there? Microsoft likely would have just made the standard desktop OS. Why do you think they still don't have an Office for the Modern UI? Why do you think they're still making tweaks to it?
            Michael Alan Goff
          • One doubt

            @Michael Alan Goff
            You honestly believe that MS some how knows that iPad is going to be a hit and started working on Windows 8?

            For the records, I don't believe it.
          • Somehow I believe it.

            Microsoft used their keynote at CES in 2010 to show Windows 7 tablets. Supposedly it was funny to watch how bad Windows 7 was on a tablet. Then, in April, Apple unveiled the iPad.
            The timeframe makes sense that Windows 8 was being developed probably before Windows 7 was officially released. Maybe they realized after the fiasco with Windows 7 tablets at CES that Windows needed a touch interface to compete.
            I never really got too into that. But it seems legitmate. Kudos for pointing it out.