Ubuntu has been a popular choice of operating system for a majority of web developers and coders. Backed by Canonical, the operating system made several attempts to launch into the mobile arena, but never quite succeeded. However, the company is finally releasing its first Ubuntu smartphone developed by Aquaris which is set to go on sale soon.
According to sources, including Ubuntu’s official website, the new smartphone will be sold via BQ.com through a number of flash sales. The phone will be called Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition. Ubuntu Edition is tagged there because another phone with similar name and model number is already in the stores that runs on Android operating system.
The first Ubuntu phone Aquaris E4.5 which is set to go on sale soon will feature a 4.5-inch display as the name suggests. Under the hood it will have a 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek processor (Cortex-A7) with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The phone will feature a 5 MP front camera and an 8 MP rear camera with dual-LED flash. There is no confirmed resolution of the screen but it is expected to be a full HD display.
Aquaris E4.5 will have two SIM card slots. The phone will come unlocked, but operators like 3 in Sweden, giffgaff in the United Kingdom, and amena.com.in Spain are bundling SIM cards with each unit of the new smartphone to appeal to customers who would be getting their first mobile phone. Canonical is releasing Aquaris E4.5, the first Ubuntu phone, to give these first time mobile phone users a brand new experience on mobile platform.
While there are speculations that the new smartphones will meet with huge disappointment just like any other new smartphone operating system out there today, Canonical is hopeful that it can change the app-centric mobile experience and introduce users to something brand new. To achieve that, the new phone will have less apps but more of what the company calls Scopes. Scopes will feature aggregated content on the homescreen of the smartphone. Users can browse for the type of content they want to see.
For example, Scopes for Music will pull music from internet sources as well as the music stored on the phone’s storage. Similarly, Video and News scopes will aggregate content from around the web to provide users a much better and richer experience on their smartphone. This will not only eliminate the need of installing multiple apps to get content from multiple sources, but also reduce the dependence on the number of apps available for the platform.
Notably, app ecosystem is one of the deciding factors when it comes to smartphones and tablets. Android and iOS are ahead of the game mostly because of the humongous number of apps that these platforms have. In total, over 95 percent of all smartphone apps belong to either Android or iOS. This was one of the main reasons behind smartphone platforms like BlackBerry and Windows Phone not achieving expected level of success.
Ubuntu Phone faces the same crisis. It can’t come up with millions of apps overnight, nor it can convince app developers to make apps for its platform until there are considerable number of users using Ubuntu Phone. The next best thing Canonical can do is come up with something new. Scopes is what Canonical is betting on. If they are proven right, users’ dependence on apps can dramatically decrease and the smartphone world can see a new kind of experience emerging from Ubuntu smartphones.
Canonical announced that its first Ubuntu phone, Aquaris E4.5 will be released soon for 170 Euros via BQ.com. The exact date and time of the sale will be published on the social media accounts of both Ubuntu and BQ.
By Aminul Islam Sajib