The first smartphones running Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch OS are expected to launch later this year, and according to company CEO Mark Shuttleworth you’ll be able to pick one up for relatively cheap. Speaking at the CeBIT 2014 technology conference in Germany, he revealed that the upcoming devices will target the “mid-higher edge” with a price somewhere between $200 and $400, though that doesn’t mean you won’t be getting a great phone.
“We’re going with the higher end because we want people who are looking for a very sharp, beautiful experience and because our ambition is to be selling the future PC, the future personal computing engine,” Shuttleworth told The Inquirer.
Ubuntu’s mobile OS can run on a smartphone or tablet similar to Android or iOS, but it’s also capable of plugging into a monitor and running a desktop operating system. The result is the first truly convergent OS, a concept that companies like Apple and Google may also one day adopt. Canonical’s attempt to crowd-fund the high-end Ubuntu Edge last year failed due to its insanely high $32 million goal. However, the company has already announced a number of manufacturing partnerships, making a 2014 smartphone launch all but certain.
Shuttleworth also revealed the company’s plan of attack, saying he hopes to target Android users. He added that’s it’s too difficult to pry iPhone users from Apple’s ecosystem due to their “emotional attachment.” Cupertino hinted toward a move to the mobile/desktop convergence with its iPhone 5s, which runs on a 64-bit processor, but it has no plans to merge OS X and iOS into a single operating system. Meanwhile Google appears to be uninterested in bridging Android and Chrome OS into one succinct platform.