Ubuntu is currently the most popular Linux distribution. And to many people, when they talk about Linux, they actually mean Ubuntu. But the ambition of the Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, does not limit within the desktop and server market, they want to invade the mobile market as well. The year 2013 came with a lot of surprises for Ubuntu fans. A plan for a Ubuntu Phone OS was announced earlier this year and Canonical also revealed that the much-awaited Steambox will run Linux.
While Ubuntu Phone’s demos generated a lot of hype and support amongst Linux fans, just like another start-up project, it also faced a lot of doubts and criticisms. The main reasons for the doubts and criticisms came from the facts that Canonical was a bit too late in the mobile, which is currently dominated by Apple iOS and Android. Also, Canonical has another handicap that it does not have a mobile carrier or a manufacturer.
And despite me always being a Linux fanboy for years, I agree with almost all the doubts and criticisms toward Ubuntu Phone. Ubuntu surely has a lot of disadvantages and is joining the game at the worst possible time. But being an optimist and a loyal Linux fan, I believe Ubuntu Phone still has a fair chance to succeed in the mobile market. And here are the reasons why I believe so:
Ubuntu is different from other smartphone Oses
If you have watched the demo of the Ubuntu Phone, you will understand what I mean. Many Android or iOS users have admitted that Ubuntu Phone is somewhat way more intuitive than their own device.
Many so-called normal users are enticed by the swipe action that let you glide through apps and menu. And even to the hard-core iOS fans that care a lot of the design, the aubergine charms of Ubuntu Phone welcome screen is still adorable. In short, the Ubuntu Phone is an outstanding product of its own. It is there in the mobile market to target the most selective users.
The mobile market still has room for another major player
Currently, there are only two dominating players in the mobile market, one is Apple iOS and the other is Android. But that does not mean there is no room left for a third or even a fourth player.
If you have followed the technology trends long enough, you must still remember than when Android just started out, it was also dismissed by people considering the immense popularity the iPhone enjoyed at that time.And if Android could do that, I do not see any reason why Ubuntu Phone cannot. Everything can happen, especially in the technology world.
And another reason is that the targeted customers of Ubuntu Phone are the enterprise customers who are in need of an unfragmented, reliable mobile operating system. So the argument that “consumers do not need a new phone OS” does not hold much water here.
Ubuntu Phone OS is open-source
If you study the success of Android, you will see that being open-source is the best thing about Android. Any mobile manufacturer can use Android on their devices and save money at the same time. And similarly, Ubuntu Phone OS, based on Linux just like Android, is open-source as well.
Manufacturers who are looking to market their devices might look at this OS and think of giving it a chance so as to stand apart from the crowd. And when big companies like Sony, Asus, Samsung … use Android for their mobile devices, I’m sure at least one of these companies will see a bright future in the OS and use it for their next product.