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First Ubuntu smartphones launching this year

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Ubuntu (STOCK)
Ubuntu (STOCK)

Ubuntu smartphones are finally coming to market. Canonical has announced that Meizu and bq will both begin selling Ubuntu smartphones before the end of the year. The phones will be made available globally, though given the manufacturers on board, they'll likely be targeted toward emerging markets, where Ubuntu will have an easier time standing out beside iOS and Android. There are no details yet on what the phones will be like, but we could learn more next week at Mobile World Congress. Engadget also reports that Canonical is also promising that two manufacturers with "household names" will begin making Ubuntu phones in 2015.

It's been a long road to this point for Canonical. A mobile version of Ubuntu was first announced nearly two years ago, and its actual launch date has seemingly been up in the air since then. The OS became available to developers about a year ago, and last summer Canonical attempted and failed to crowdfund a particularly high-end launch device for the platform. Now Canonical is going with a much lower profile launch, but it's still gained a good amount of awareness on the way here. According to Engadget, Canonical also aims to have the top 50 mobile apps running on Ubuntu by the end of the year — an ambitious feat that would bolster the platform in a major way.