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Canonical Announces First Partners to Ship Ubuntu Phones Globally

by Sam Wakoba
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Canonical has partnered with Spain mobile device manufacturers bq and China’s smartphone marker Meizu to bring Ubuntu smartphones to consumers globally this year.
The firm says development programmes have begun with the partners to provide smartphones with a superior user experience on mid to high end hardware for consumers around the world. Devices will be available to buy online through bq, Meizu and at Ubuntu.com.

Ubuntu said it’s mobile devices have a new UI paradigm  and  content and services rather stores and apps so as users engage with their favourite videos, music and other mobile activities better.

According to Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu; “The mobile industry has long been looking for a viable alternative to those that reign today. Ubuntu puts the control back into the hands of our partners and presents an exciting platform for consumers, delivering an experience which departs from the tired app icon grid of Android and iOS and provides a fluid, content-rich experience for all.”

The two firms have the capacity to produce best devices for users. Meizu is one of China’s most successful high-end smartphone manufacturers with over 1,000 employees, 600 retail stores and a global presence in China, Hong Kong, Israel, Russia and Ukraine.

“Ubuntu’s intuitive and visually stunning user interface aligns with our own ethos of producing simple, innovative mobile experiences. This partnership gives us an opportunity to develop a truly different and compelling offering that will support our strategy to deliver devices to both China as well as internationally,” says  Li Nan, Meizu’s VP Sales and Marketing.

The other partner, bq is a manufacturer of multimedia devices operating in Europe and employing 600 people and last year shipped almost 1.5 million devices and in less than a year has become the Spain’s second biggest seller of unlocked smartphones.

bq will bring Ubuntu onto its latest hardware specifications.

“Ubuntu’s ongoing success on PCs, as well as the huge support it has gained for its mobile proposition provides the best opportunity to bring an alternative platform to market on our hardware,” Alberto Mendez, CEO, comments.

Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory Group has 16 members including Vodafone, EE, T-Mobile USA, Three Group, Deutsche Telekom, Verizon, Telstra and Portugal Telecom. Canonical is also working with a breadth of ISV partners, including The Weather Channel, GrooveShark, Evernote and more, to bring the best applications and services to Ubuntu.

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