Verizon backs Ubuntu smartphone

Verizon backs Ubuntu smartphone

Summary: Verizon Wireless joins the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group. This move sets Verizon up to be the first carrier to bring the Ubuntu-Linux based smartphone to the US.


Canonical has had good luck getting European telecomms to back Ubuntu on smartphones. But until July 11th, it hadn't managed to persuade any US carriers to back its Linux phone. Now, Verizon Wireless has joined the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group.

Verizon will be bringing the Ubuntu smartphone to the US market.

According to Sian Aherne, Canonical's public relations manager, "Verizon Wireless is the latest member to join the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG). Verizon is the largest mobile network operator in the US and being able to work closely with them gives us an opportunity to shape Ubuntu into the most compelling new, alternative platform for mobile."

Canonical's Ubuntu smartphone OS, in pictures

In a statement Samir Vaidya from the Device Technology team at Verizon Wireless said: “Verizon Wireless is joining Ubuntu’s CAG to participate in technology discussions around this new platform, which has the ability to bring new and exciting features to developers and ultimately, customers.”

The purpose of CAG, as Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon explained in June, is to "to prioritize the delivery of new Ubuntu features, and grow an ecosystem of software, services and devices.

Specifically CAG members will be able to launch Ubuntu smartphones and tablets before non-members and they can help Canonical work out the following items prior to the Ubuntu phone launch:

  • Differentiation for OEMs and operators.
  • Developer ecosystems and application portability.
  • HTML5 standards, performance and compatibility.
  • Marketplaces for apps, content and services.
  • Revenue share models for publishers, operators, and OEMs.
  • Payment mechanisms and standards.
  • Platform fragmentation.
  • Consumer and enterprise market segments and positioning.

Ubuntu has been working hard on its  smartphone and tablet Linux for the last few months. Canonical's plan is to have the first Ubuntu smartphones available in at least two global markets by October and in the rest of the world in 2014.

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Topics: Ubuntu, Linux, Mobile OS, Mobility, Smartphones, Verizon

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  • well now this is big news

    if FFOS showed us anything, it's that carrier support breeds OEM support. I was skeptical before, but now I'm starting to think Ubuntu might actually get this project off the ground.
    • and I hope they do

      it's gorgeous, and I really want a phone that I can plug in and have a desktop OS.
      • I wouldn't mind having one either, except.... just know Verizon will ruin it with their supposed "added value" bloatware and feature crippling.
        Hallowed are the Ori
        • Microsoft should embrace this

          The only way for a late entrant to challenge Google's Android is to become more open than existing systems.

          Ubuntu is that. 100% pure open source.

          Microsoft's Windows phones failed because they were both late to the party and a locked-down closed velvet prison. Microsoft has online assets like Office and Bing, all dressed up with nowhere to go.

          Microsoft should embrace Ubuntu Phone and offer packaged services to Ubuntu phone OEMs. Oh, I forgot one little problem. Microsoft shareholders would first have to fire Ballmer, because he hates open source, even though all his main competitors are using open source software in their platforms, and eating Microsoft's lunch with it.
          • Marketshare of new devices in Jan-March 2013

            1. Android Linux 52%
            2. OS of Apple 19%
            3. Windows 18%
            4. Others, including other Linux distributions 11%
          • Then this should work for Tizen (formerly MeeGo) too, right?

            Android is open where it needs to be open. And a 100% free version of Android exists. See the Replicant project:

            "Replicant is a fully free Android distribution

            Replicant currently supports nine (9) devices, and growing.
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • MS Win8pro please, i do not care about others

            Are you insane? Microsoft should push their own Windows 8 Pro into mobiles, not Linux
          • .....

            The problem there is no one is buy windows phones since the UI is so bad. The windows phone is a dead horse until they dump the modern metro ui and get with giving people what they want and very loudly they have spoken and said it is not the modern tiles. Ubuntu listens well and designs for the demand. Microsoft under Baller went to listen to consumer design around everything they dislike and try to force feed it.
          • Is the world

            Saying it wants Ubuntu?

            Canonical can't even rally the Linux community behind their user interface. Where exactly is the world saying it wants what Ubuntu is offering?
          • LOL!

            "Microsoft's Windows phones failed"

            They haven't failed. In fact, they're growing market share throughout the world.
          • in reality

            In reality they are still in the 3% marketshare (since months if not an year), and that is a problem. I say it as a lumia820 lover and wp8 developer

            In US and australia they are losing marketshare (-0,2% and -1,2%), in cina a japan they have none (under 0,9%). Only some parts of europe are saving it, but it still not enough
        • Not to mention

          impossible to root so you can't get rid of the bloatware and add functionality.
      • Ubuntu smartphones

        I have a Nokia 710 with Windows Phone 7.5, when I updated to 7.8 the phone becomes totally crazy, when I make a call to a cel. and I finish with the fhone closed, starts to make random call or other blody things, I like an operating system in the phone and give up Microsoft, included Win8 and all is parafarnalia. Regard from Buenos Aires
      • The thing about the Desktop OS on a

        phone is will it require desktop resources to run efficiently? Intel processor thats runs hot and lower battery life then iOS and Android?
        • Desktop OS

          I understand that Canonical will effectively have two OSes on the phone: a smartphone OS and the desktop OS. The phone will default to the smartphone OS unless it is docked and then it defaults to the desktop OS. Presumably a docked phone will have access to a power supply.
          • Nope

            This isn't a two OS solution, it's a two UI solution.

            Ubuntu Touch is full Ubuntu, really. It just isn't x86 Ubuntu.
            Michael Alan Goff
    • Depends on the salespeople

      If all they push are iPhones and Galaxies like they do now, then maybe not so much
      William Farrel
      • of course it will still be an uphill battle

        but this is the first step. we won't even get to carrier reps ignoring the handsets if they never get made in the first place.
        • Good point.

          "we won't even get to carrier reps ignoring the handsets if they never get made in the first place"

          But I still really don't trust the Verizon sales people. I asked to see the Nokia 822 specifically, but all the guy wanted to sell me was the iPhone, the phone he owned (and knew)

          If they don't know anything about this phone, will they offer it as an option to a customer that it may be a good fit for?
          William Farrel
          • I love hearing this lament from Windows fanbois

            It's called karma. Now you know how desktop GNU/Linux enthusiasts feel.
            Rabid Howler Monkey