The much anticipated first phone based on the Ubuntu Linux platform will finally go on sale next week.
However, Ubuntu fans are likely to be disappointed that the device falls short of the Edge smartphone concept that the firm originally envisioned.
Available from Monday, the phone comes in the form of the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition from Spain-based device maker BQ.
As the name suggests, this is effectively just a version of the firm's Aquaris E4.5 Android smartphone that has been repurposed with the Ubuntu platform.
The device thus sports a 4.5in screen and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor based on the ARM Cortex-A7, with 1GB memory and 8GB flash storage. It is expected to cost about €170 (£127).
However, the key feature of Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition is the mobile version of Ubuntu Linux, and BQ and Ubuntu developer Canonical are keen to differentiate it from the major players in the smartphone arena at the moment, Google and Apple.
"We're not coming out with yet another iOS or Android clone," said Cristian Parrino, vice president of mobile at Canonical.
The upshot is that Ubuntu on phones offers a very different user experience from either of those platforms, focusing on content and services delivered directly to the screen, rather than presenting a grid of application icons.
Key to this are 'scopes', home screens that aggregate content from multiple services in a single place.
The video scope displays content from sources like YouTube and Vimeo, while a music scope can display music downloaded to the phone alongside content from sources such as Soundcloud and Grooveshark.
The user can tap on any source to expand it into a full-screen, app-like experience.
"What's exciting about Ubuntu is that it's a very different experience on many fronts. We're changing the smartphone mental model for users, developers, device makers, mobile carriers, and even in terms of ecosystem dynamics," Parrino said.
The platform is launching with "almost 1,000 scopes and apps" in place already, he claimed.
But Canonical and BQ are aware that they face a monumental task to gain traction in the saturated smartphone ecosystem, and are being careful how they bring the new platform to market.
For this reason, the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will have limited availability at first, as the companies focus on early adopters to drum up enthusiasm before moving to full-scale production.
The phone will also be available initially only from BQ's website via a number of "flash sale" events that will be announced on Twitter, the firm said.
"Launching a new platform has to be a journey, and before you can stick a brand new experience on a shelf, we need to move thoughtfully, which means focusing on early adopters to create momentum," Parrino explained.
Many Ubuntu and Linux enthusiasts are likely to be disappointed that the device does not match up to the vision of the Ubuntu Edge smartphone that Canonical attempted to crowdsource in 2013.
This device was expected to function as a smartphone while the user was on the move, but would slot into a docking cradle in the office and morph into a full-blown Linux PC connected to a desktop display, keyboard and mouse.
But it seems that Canonical has not abandoned this idea, which could hold appeal for many professional users, especially IT administrators dealing with Linux servers.
"This is very much still part of our future vision," said Parrino. "We've been demonstrating conceptual versions of this for quite some time, and we will be doing so again at MWC," he promised.
However, he declined to indicate when Linux enthusiasts may be able to get their hands on such a device.
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