January 02, 2013, 2:57 PM —
Further expanding from its core mission of providing Linux distributions for desktop computers and servers, Canonical is developing a version of Ubuntu for smartphones.
The company plans to market the OS to smartphone handset manufacturers and wireless phone network operators, in part as an alternative to Android. Ubuntu did not announce any carriers or handset manufacturers that publicly plan to build Ubuntu phones yet.
However, users should expect the first Ubuntu smartphones to be released late 2013 or early 2014, said Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth during a press conference announcing the launch of the phone.
This is not Canonical's first foray into porting Ubuntu beyond PCs and servers. A year ago, the company launched a version of the open source distribution called Ubuntu TV that can be run on processor-enhanced television sets.
Canonical estimates that Ubuntu is already used on over 20 million desktop computers -- Asus, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo all offer computers with Ubuntu pre-installed. With the smartphone version, Canonical is now boasting that it offers a single OS for multiple devices in the home.