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back to article Dying for an Ubuntu Linux phone? Here's how much it'll cost you

Just because Ubuntu Mobile is based on Linux doesn't mean Ubuntu handsets will be really cheap, like phones running some other open-source mobile operating systems. Speaking at the CeBIT conference in Hanover, Germany on Tuesday, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said we should expect the first Ubuntu phones to be "mid-high …

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Anonymous Coward

Well duh!

As the people across the pond might say. Good hardware costs good money, regardless of the OS. Meanwhile, I watch Firefox OS with interest. Problems? The very markets Mozilla is targetting often have dodgy data connectivity to the rest of the world. As I found out last year, Benin sometimes drops off the internet for an hour or so (good point to go for a walk, as the climate is lovely).

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Get Back to me when Ubuntu Touch can run on all Nexus devices as a flashable ROM or get ASUS to do an Ubuntu Touch PadFone with a keyboard dock. Then I'm interested. Otherwise I'll be looking at Sailfish or Firefox if I can flash it up.

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Sil

also-ran

what's Ubuntu if not an also ran?

It will be the future of the pc in the same way that Blu-ray is the future of entertainment.

With 0 experience in the phone area and one of the worst kickstarter campaign ever Shuttleworth is superbly equipped to take over the smartphone market. At least in his own head.

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Accuracy like a blind knife thrower

Interesting. What you call the "worst kickstarter campaign ever" actually broke all records for crowdsourcing income. Of course, it was on indiegogo, not kickstarter, so you're batting 0.000 thus far. Guess I'll wait and see how the first phones turn out. We live in interesting times, and I'm glad Canonical is a part of them!

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Re: Accuracy like a blind knife thrower

I'm pretty sure the record for crowd-funding is 40M USD. (which is where Star Citizen is). On the 5th of July, SC had already broken 13M. The Edge's campaign, which started 17 days later, would never even hit this number. While it's disingenuous to call Shuttleworths's effort the worst crowdfunding campaign ever, it was a failure (in that it did not achieve it's goal on indigogo), and certainly not a record for crowdfunding income (even IF they had got to keep the 12.8-odd M).

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ubuntu-edge

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hmmm...

£240 seems reasonable.

I don't expect I'll be first on the bandwagon, unless the phone can (or be capable of in the near future) dock up and act as a desktop (otherwise what's the point of running a convergent OS, I may as well go android).

Otherwise I'll just pool my spare change a little longer for something like a Galaxy note type (after all these years, I'm still in mourning for my Sharp Zaurus).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: hmmm...

"£240 seems reasonable."

Are you having a laugh? £240 for an old-tech phone running a bloated OS?

No thank you.

"unless the phone can (or be capable of in the near future) dock up and act as a desktop"

No it can't. This is not the phone from the failed crowd-funding. This is a generic phone based on years-old guff that is being shifted from a warehouse.

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Why do I feeling that Shuttleworth's (Ubuntu Phablet OS), is gonna have more success in drawing more crowds into Linux. Then MicroSoft will at selling their Phablets at us by pushing shite like WIndows (H)8 at us. Its like we just haven't realized how forward thinking they've been up till now.

Serisly though I'm so gonna laugh my Arse off once MicroSoft sink back into 4th Place again behinf who ever. Apple, Google or even worse for them Ubuntu... And yes I'm calling it now! This IS gonna happen!

Flame away MicroShrills.... Flame away!

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Maybe, one day in the far, far future, Ubuntu mobile will achieve the staggering levels of market share that has been the hallmark of 'Linux on the desktop'.

However, until that day comes, I will spend my time laughing at the illiteracy of the Michael Habels above post.

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Anonymous Coward

@Michael Habel

"(H)8"? "MicroShrills"? Sad. Really sad. Especially the latter - do you really think your last sentence pre-emptively defeats anyone who argues against you? I won't argue whether your prediction will come true or not - I'll wait and see, not that I care as - er, passionately as you do.

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WTF?

@ Michael Habel

Does Linux come with spelling and grammar checking options?

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Re: @ Michael Habel

"Does Linux come with spelling and grammar checking options?"

Some do but not for his distro

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Boffin

Shuttleworth understands that people have been paying for emotional attachments for a long time.

I wonder if Canonical has patented a new use for the vibrator-annunciator used in phones?

[Keep it clean, folks. I can literally hear all those of you who want to say, "By George, this'll lend new meaning to the phrase,'I've got to get off, now.' ".]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shuttleworth understands that people have been paying for emotional attachments for a long time.

As most AE departments can tell you, there is a long standing prior art by Nokia there.

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Headmaster

Oh, no you can't!

You can metaphorically hear them, or you may be experiencing a particularly intense auditory hallucinatory episode (remember the pills?) but you can't literally hear them.

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Phone for developers

1. A phone that has first party (or trusted) SHELL app

AND

2. Resolution high enough to show readable white text on black on a full screen shell+keyboard

AND

3. Doesn't steal your data legally

Does Ubuntu phone have it all? Or it is just about the fluid desktop UI that scales up and down?

For (1) and (2), it seems very likely to happen. For (3), I'll never be sure.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/CoreApps/Terminal

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I'm sort of interested...

I'd be interested if:

1) It ran Android apps I really dont want to have to wait another X years for their app store to get up to speed

2) If that whole "Plug in to a dock and get full linux" thing ever actually works

3) The phones have a MicroSD slot so I can actually install stuff I need for number 2 to be of any use for me!

That said I am all for open-ness and when I upgrade my Nexus 4 ill probably install it to have a look :)

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Will all condifuration be done

by firing up a terminal window and typing

'sudo blah-blah'

That all my Ubuntu loving friends seem to do all day long. I really hope not.

Being realistic, a Phone OS needs real stability. IMHO this is something that recent Ubuntu releases don't have. Hence the move to alternatives like Mint and Debian. Unless their phone offering is rock solid then I really can't see this having much market penetration above the 1% mark.

Before anyone downvotes me for being anti Canonical, I adopted Ubuntu very early on as my desktop of choice. I got fed up with the instability around the 10.4 release and moved to CentOS. sure is not bleeding edge but it is rock solid.

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Re: Will all condifuration be done

Configuration will be done by "ssh -l root phone.yourname.me.uk dpkg-reconfigure", of course.

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Windows

Re: Will all condifuration be done

"That all my Ubuntu loving friends seem to do all day long. I really hope not."

@Steve Davies 3

Your friends use the bash prompt through choice. It is possible to configure a modern GNU/Linux PC for use entirely using GUI. Laptops can be more of an issue (thinkfan, brightness controls, Optimus switchable graphics, depending on model) but the situation is improving rapidly. Older Core Duo 2 laptops with Intel chipsets are functional out of the box.

Ubuntuphone: when I can walk into a shop in Birmingham and try one out, and when I can dock it and get a desktop with LibreOffice running on a 1080p monitor, I shall be sorely tempted. Until that day, I'll stay with Debian on an old Thinkpad and an old school Blackberry.

The tramp: retirement looms, Gove Almighty has spanner'd t'pension.

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"bog-standard midlevel Android phones"

I read that as "bog-standard medieval Android phones" and thought it was a bit mean-spirited. Silly me. Perhaps I need breakfast.

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Smartphones

I hate the smart phone. When I buy a phone I buy it to make calls and to text above all else yet those seem to be the features that dont work well on a smart phone. Every so often I have to reboot this damn thing because it claims to have signal but acts like it doesnt. This is of course after taking 2 of these things (one mine, one hers) back for repairs (they just reinstalled it) in less than a yr because they randomly dropped calls and refused to dial some numbers but would receive.

I have no use for apps. Nice kinda idea but I dont have the time or patience to care. She does use apps and likes them. Occasionally I use the browser on my phone which is reasonably nice but thats it.

As you can see from above I am not a fan of smart phones although I can see why other people like them. However I am seriously tempted to get one of these linux boxes for my pocket. Something I by default have root access to and am not assumed to be some unknowing user although it still caters for them.

I may be in the market for one of these. I just hope it is reliable at calls and text.

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Re: Smartphones

There are still many phones out there that are 'feature' rather than Smartphones which makes calls, text and have long battery life. Since they do exactly what you required, I'd get one of those.

There, I've sorted your life out for you. It was quite easy, I just suggested you buy what you need, not something you don't need. I use this in my own life, I tend to buy stuff that does what I want, as opposed to buying stuff that is unsuited to my requirements. It's a great technique, I suggest you try it.

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Re: Smartphones

@ James Hughes 1

Cheers for (what sounds like) sarcasm but this is my first smart phone to see if it did do things I wanted beyond the simple call and text. I actually have my old samsung chat as a fall back which I upgraded from because it got glitchy (after 3 yrs) turning itself off once a month without reason. I am however looking at standard phones as my next one, but I dont buy a phone until the one I have develops real problems. Often it takes years. As my current smart phone was under warranty I got it repaired instead of just binning the thing but when it dies again it will be gone.

However I do have use for a portable computer (I have a laptop) but to have a phone which doubles as a more portable computer could be very useful.

The interesting thing about buying based on your requirements is that you can still get stung. For example if you buy a smart phone because you need a phone (see how it happened) but everyone is telling you that the smart features are awesome and worth a try because you will want them. Some people like the extra features and I do like the web browser. But my primary requirement is the phone which I assumed was still covered under smart 'phone'.

When buying what you want where do you get your omnipotent foresight? Or do you ask people what they have and how they find it? And when they say its fantastic and you will love it, also they have yet to develop any problems with it... do you try? Or dont you? And if you try you sometimes get a hit and sometimes get a miss. I got a miss while for others its a hit. And I will use this experience to avoid the current range of smart phones while not letting it put me off a useful sounding phone like the Ubuntu offering could be.

I guess I am just trying to say dont be put off trying things just because you have one bad experience. It's a great technique, I suggest you try it.

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Re: Smartphones

> Every so often I have to reboot this damn thing because it claims to have signal but acts like it doesnt.

You can also try turning 'Airplane Mode' on and then off again... its quicker than rebooting the whole phone. A work-around, not a solution, for an annoying situation.

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Flame

Will users have proper control of their phones?

Will the Ubuntu phones as shipped give users proper control of their own hardware, or will they have to root/reinstall in order to control apps permissions, ad-blocking, etc.?

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Re: Will users have proper control of their phones?

@ Larry F54.

they may do, they may not.

The reason for these restrictions isnt to annoy the owner, but to prevent the masses from either messing up their device, or in the case of smartphones, to stop them being compromised.

I dont mind that each new Android phone I get is restricted in this way, if ever I need to I can root the device.

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Re: Will users have proper control of their phones?

"proper control of their own hardware"

No cellular network operator is going to let a device loose on its network that gives a user full control over the hardware.

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Re: Will users have proper control of their phones?

precisely.

I think the concept of control and the walled garden are what let the mobile networks happy to carry them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Will users have proper control of their phones?

> No cellular network operator is going to let a device loose on its network that gives a user full control over the hardware.

It's not really their choice, is it? Suppose the Replicant project manages to completely replace the binary blobs on a phone with self-implemented drivers and some people started using that on their phones. Network operators would never know or be able to prevent that? And why would they want to if they could?

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Pint

Choose-your OS hardware...and the Susephone was invented in 1890

Ultimately the real revolution may happen when you can by your phone, much the same as buying a PC and choose to buy/download an OS of your choice, with proprietary BIOS/binary blobs that protect the network provider/manufacturer. The trouble is that networks don't like to give that much control to the customer...Once Ubuntu phones arrive, we should see SusePhones, fedoraphones and archphones. Of course Sousaphones have already been invented

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Re: Choose-your OS hardware...and the Susephone was invented in 1890

"..much the same as buying a PC and choose to buy/download an OS of your choice.."

That'll be real fun.

However, sometimes I wonder whom to look for this progress in the standards.

A PC is mix of standard components from different hardware manufacturers, selling processors and RAMs in chocolate-like boxes, and that is what made the PCs popular.

Ironically, that is also the reason that even most naive person today knows what a "Hard Disk" is.

It's again manufacturers who supplied customized drivers for their components for each OS they considered worthy. Now the mainstream manufacturers have thrown hands. They think avoiding the arm race is the best solution. What else can describe that Raspberry-Pi is still a novel idea.

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I'm in!!

... though I am not running after any new gadgetry. Ever. My current handy is a Samsung B2100.

I'm having a 4-year-old netbook, etc. Oh yeah, even a € 173-tablet. My data are in the cloud, so that's okay.

BUT I would be all too pleased to have a single device that I carry around, and have mouse and keyboard in the office, isn't much larger than my current phone, can rest overnight (and charge) on my bedside table, plays movies in the evening via HDMI on a flatscreen TV, and slips into my pocket in the mornings.

Qt is really the UI framework of choice to support all sorts of applications and screen sizes. I commit to buy one, whenever available.

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Facepalm

"emotional connection"?

Hate is an emotion too.

Just saying.

Anyways, if he manages to get the multiple form factor right, he could be onto something. But then, with Linux he's only targetting the Linux crowd, which is tiny.

Currently Microsoft is the sole company that would have a killer system if they managed to pull this off in a reasonable amount of time. But they failed with W8, and I do not see them trying it again anytime soon.

Apple might be working towards this goal, but if they are doing it it will be incremental.

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Re: "emotional connection"?

>But then, with Linux he's only targetting the Linux crowd, which is tiny.

That can change. Lots of people use a Linuxy OS on their phones, and the Unix-like OSX enjoys double figure market share in some territories. Valve are marketing a Linux-based gaming OS.

At the same time, some people are using browser-based productivity software - which means they aren't tied to any OS as much as they once might have been.

Specific CAD software ties me to Windows, so I'm not a regular Linux user - but software-as-a-service and remote hardware resources for rendering mean that the idea of cloud-based CAD isn't without merit.

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Re: "emotional connection"?

If Apple did this, it could hurt sales of their laptop & desktop business, no incentive for Apple.

If MS did this, it could hurt sale of their desktop OS business, no incentive for MS.

The small Linux crowd on the other hand is probably enough for Canonical to get a foothold in the market and show potential, an incentive for Canonical.

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I'm in too

Like Uwe, I'm not a gadgetry fan, but I'd like to avoid a 4kg computer bag when commuting. Supposing I can connect one or 2 displays (displayport ?) and a keyboard, modern smartphones seem powerful enough for a decent desktop experience.

Oh, and I have an 'emotional connection' with Linux, where I can update OS and apps without pain, choose between cloud and local for my data, etc... in short twist it to my needs, rather being tied in a monopolistic business model. But I'm a sentimental.

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I am still waiting for a convergence type of device. If it runs Ubuntu, I should be able to plug in a USB keyboard and HDMI monitor and run X with enough power to do a browser, ssh sessions, LibreOffice. Obviously it must be able to do Bluetooth phone calls at the same time.

I would pay big money for something like this -- especially if it could do VDPAU or at least VA-API.

Mark

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Jury is still out for me.

- The reason I didn't sign-up to the Kick-Starter campaign is that the Kick-Starter Terms & Conditions said I'd lose 10% of my investment if the campaign failed and I was refunded.

- I've been looking forward to Ubuntu Mobile for years, but I still won't join in if manufacturers lock root and void warranties for breaking root access.

- And there's one more big thing I'll miss if I become the last person in the world to switch to any form of smartphone... the 9-day battery life of my current phone. I guess I will give-in on that point, but... it's a wrench.

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