HANOVER: Smartphones on Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system will cost between $200 and $400, according to the firm’s chief executive Mark Shuttleworth.
Speaking at CeBIT, he said: “Ours will come out in the mid-higher edge, so $200 to $400. 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.”
The Ubuntu project aims to produce hardware that can act as a smartphone and also work as a PC when plugged into a monitor, something Shuttleworth said many audiences found attractive.
Canonical teamed up with phone makers Meizu and BQ earlier this year to produce the devices, following what Shuttleworth called the “spectacular failure” of the firm’s efforts to raise $32m for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone. But he also called it a “spectacular success” because of the amount of attention it drew and the influence it could have on the industry.
He said the firm was not targeting iPhone users, who he said had an “emotional connection” to the Apple ecosystem.
Shuttleworth also claimed that the fact the firm started late with its development allowed it to see the success of Android and build upon the knowledge it gained there.
“Android wasn’t designed or built to be your personal computer,” he said. “We have the benefit of starting late so we were able to think about it very deeply before it got going.”
“I think as people get more and more excited about having a personal computing device that can be a TV or a piece of wearable computing, they’ll be more excited about being part of Ubuntu’s mobile story.”
“Android has served its purpose for sure, but perhaps it’s time for something new. If you really look at the heart of Google’s business model I don’t think it totally depends on Android, because they have great services.”
The firm previously stated that its first phones would go on sale this autumn as it seeks to gain traction in the highly competitive smartphone market.