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Ubuntu Mobile OS: Carriers Don't Want to Recreate Fragmentation of Android

By - Source: The Verge | B 20 comments

Mobile platform launching early 2014 instead of proposed October release this year.

Canonical has stated that carriers haven't expressed any interest in recreating a fragmentation of Android in terms of the company's upcoming Ubuntu mobile operating system.

The firm's founder and CEO, Mark Shuttleworth, stated that Ubuntu smartphones would be launching during October 2013. However, he clarified that although a mobile version of the operating system (Ubuntu 13.10) will be available then, smartphones are unlikely to ship until early 2014.

He added that although the platform will be completed this year, the devices to run the operating system will be required to undergo the usual process of carrier testing, which can take a few months.

"We've had fairly substantial conversations... none of [the carriers or OEMs] have expressed a desire to recreate the fragmentation of the Android operating system. I think my genuine impression is that people realize that fragmentation doesn't really help them."

"Certainly none of the companies we've engaged with have expressed the desire to do all of the work that's involved in a device like this and not engage with us... for the moment, at least, we think that gives us reasonable leverage in conversations. We're relatively confident how it will play out in the opening sequences of the chess game."

Shuttleworth responded to questions pertaining to whether Ubuntu, originally a PC operating system based on Linux, could generate profits from the platform by stressing that it wishes to further establish Ubuntu as a brand.

"It solves a lot of problems for us if people go into a store and see Ubuntu branding." That said, he noted that Canonical doesn't have much control over what its partners decide to do with the operating system. "It's open source, so it's possible for people to do grievous bodily harm to it."

Ubuntu is currently available on the Galaxy Nexus as a test platform. For more on the platform itself, go to our CES 2013 preview.

 

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    Shin-san , March 3, 2013 1:00 AM
    Quote:
    Carriers Don't Want to Recreate Fragmentation of Android
    The carriers are part of the reason why there's fragmentation.
  • 12 Hide
    nebun , March 3, 2013 12:24 AM
    what they need to do is to stop installing applications no one needs or use....also i would like the option to install and remove any program i want including the ones that ship with the phone...just like a PC
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    zoemayne , March 2, 2013 11:15 PM
    i see their reasoning... their tech support will just have an additional variable at what benefit? Just more problems for what gain?.... this is something canonical should of researched before creating this version
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    digitalvampire , March 2, 2013 11:17 PM
    Ubuntu showed so much promise several years ago. Establishing itself as a very good Linux distribution targeted at new Linux users. While that is still the case, it has also begun to (admittedly, by Shuttleworth himself) emulate Apple and it's platform. I'm curious if Canonical's ultimate goal is to be bought out by Apple. Their developer lineup consists mainly of cosmetic people. They've made little (none, last time I checked) contributions to the kernel. Their user base is, of course, the same as the Apple audience. So, while very helpful to each other, they've made no significant code contributions back upstream. I'm just curious to see all this play out.
  • 12 Hide
    nebun , March 3, 2013 12:24 AM
    what they need to do is to stop installing applications no one needs or use....also i would like the option to install and remove any program i want including the ones that ship with the phone...just like a PC
  • 12 Hide
    Shin-san , March 3, 2013 1:00 AM
    Quote:
    Carriers Don't Want to Recreate Fragmentation of Android
    The carriers are part of the reason why there's fragmentation.
  • 2 Hide
    edogawa , March 3, 2013 2:00 AM
    Are there any benefit to even using Ubuntu over current android phones?

    I don't really follow or care for phones much, don't seem very interesting at this point in time, and are a very closed eco-sytem.

    Most phones seem really generic excluding a few such as the iPhone and Galaxy.
  • 3 Hide
    alextheblue , March 3, 2013 2:42 AM
    nebunwhat they need to do is to stop installing applications no one needs or use....also i would like the option to install and remove any program i want including the ones that ship with the phone...just like a PC
    Windows Phone does that already, actually. Anything the carrier slaps on there can be uninstalled, without the need for rooting. If you decide you actually want something back for some reason, you can nab it off the store and reinstall it.
  • 6 Hide
    glasssplinter , March 3, 2013 2:50 AM
    Shin-sanThe carriers are part of the reason why there's fragmentation.

    Exactly. So much bloatware on my Sprint phone it's not even funny. Then you disable it and it can no longer update.
  • -6 Hide
    jurassic1024 , March 3, 2013 3:53 AM
    I'm sure carrier bloat is necessary to keep the price of the phone down.
  • -4 Hide
    house70 , March 3, 2013 10:42 AM
    Read/watch this:
    http://www.xda-developers.com/android/5-myths-of-custom-oem-android-skins-aosp-sense-touchwiz-xda-developer-tv/
    before getting into fragmentation.
  • 1 Hide
    egilbe , March 3, 2013 3:35 PM
    I never really understood the problem with fragmenting, but I always found a custom ROM on XDA developers for my devices. So many options out there by private developers for Android, and so many flavors of Linux already.
  • 2 Hide
    ericburnby , March 3, 2013 3:40 PM
    ^ Android is a fragmented mess. This is a fact and no PR video (that doesn't even address several key issues at all) is going to change that.

    Well, it might for people who don't know a damn thing about Android or how to code for it. You know, the people who like to throw around buzzwords like "open source" or "walled garden" to describe something they don't understand because it sounds cool.
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , March 3, 2013 4:34 PM
    Hmmm. I understand Android, but I never claimed I could code for it. The developers at xda, however, know quite a bit more than some wannabee that likes to throw around words like "fragmented mess", which only proves he/she doesn't even understand the basics explained in the video.
    egilbeI never really understood the problem with fragmenting, but I always found a custom ROM on XDA developers for my devices. So many options out there by private developers for Android, and so many flavors of Linux already.

    Quite so. In fact, the Android-based devices are quite a few light-years ahead of anything that is closed-system, just because there are so many additions to it and the code is constantly under everyone's scrutiny. If it wasn't for that nature of Android we would have never found out about CarrierIQ, for instance; iPhone owners would have had no idea their phones have/had it.
    If only iOS was not fragmented; but it is, too. The older the phone, the more diluted the features of latest version, to the point that a couple generations back the only thing they have in common with newer devices is the version number in "about" section (that, and the eternally boring limited UI).
  • 1 Hide
    house70 , March 3, 2013 4:40 PM
    "It solves a lot of problems for us if people go into a store and see Ubuntu branding." That said, he noted that Canonical doesn't have much control over what its partners decide to do with the operating system. "It's open source, so it's possible for people to do grievous bodily harm to it."

    The only chance Ubuntu has to keep that from happening is to create a universally-compatible OS, like they did for desktop/laptop. People should be able to download and install it freely; only then the carriers will get a real taste of reality.
    Otherwise it will be another Ubuntu-BASED plethora of phones out there. Even so, I would rather accept that instead of a closed system.
  • 0 Hide
    Bloob , March 3, 2013 4:58 PM
    edogawaAre there any benefit to even using Ubuntu over current android phones?I don't really follow or care for phones much, don't seem very interesting at this point in time, and are a very closed eco-sytem.Most phones seem really generic excluding a few such as the iPhone and Galaxy.

    How about just docking the phone and having a full desktop experience?

    P.S. both iPhone and Galaxy (whichever) are generic.
  • 2 Hide
    Bloob , March 3, 2013 5:04 PM
    egilbeI never really understood the problem with fragmenting, but I always found a custom ROM on XDA developers for my devices. So many options out there by private developers for Android, and so many flavors of Linux already.

    As a developer I can say that the numerous screen resolutions and aspect ratios, and the relatively badly scaling GUI API is one of the problems. For the things you can do on it, WP is much easier to develop for. Also, the fragmentation of the user experience might be an issue for non-techie users.
  • 2 Hide
    southernshark , March 3, 2013 10:52 PM
    Android is fragmented.... but u can always buy a Nexus 4 or Samsung S out of contract and get the real deal. I don't do contracts. My Nexus 4 upgrades without one.
  • 1 Hide
    thecolorblue , March 4, 2013 7:48 AM
    jurassic1024I'm sure carrier bloat is necessary to keep the price of the phone down.

    pure BS
  • -1 Hide
    waynes , March 4, 2013 10:18 AM
    Whatever happened to the Ubuntu on Android phones for last year, but without need for keyboard or mouse on tablets, with x86 emulator, and remote wifi desktop to PC. That is where it is at, maybe we can get a desktop version of Opera, Open Office, on it, with the ability to sort pictures by folder, instead of the nonsense we go through with Opera Mobile, Word processors, and gallery+most. Just get a beefy tablet, or 18-27 inch and off you go. A step further, if manufacturers included a basic small on demand x86 asian core on tablets, to run x86 application code in parallel to Ubuntu, or wine derivative, it would substantially boost the usefulness of android tablets in productivity applications.
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , March 4, 2013 1:46 PM
    isnt the android fragmentation completely on the hardware manufactures though?
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , March 5, 2013 4:32 AM
    Well the problem is that people want an open system and Android is buggy as hell. too much customer kernel google cr#p and in the end, the consumer pays. Android is a very bad example of what LInux has to offer. I loathe Apple's closed iPhone, but Android is too focused on expanding everywhere at the cost of reliability. I can't tell you how many times i have to restart my phone every week (and no i dont put apps on it, cause half the time they dont run). Or how many times my camera crashes by simply actions like taking a picture. Android is the big dog, but I would jump on anything Debian based (which Ubuntu is cloned from) over Android anyday. That's on my top of the line tablet AND on my smart phone. both operating systems offer power users NOTHING.
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