Feeds

Verizon signs on to Ubuntu's smartphone advisory committee

Could pave way for US launch of Linux-distro-based mobes

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Verizon Wireless has become the first US carrier to join the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group, making a stateside launch for Canonical's open source smartphone platform that much more likely.

Canonical announced the Carrier Advisory Group in June as a forum in which mobile operators could discuss Ubuntu for phones and help to develop marketplaces, payment mechanisms, and revenue-sharing models around the platform.

Membership in the group is open to "any national or multinational carrier who wishes to join," but until now, no US carrier had taken Mark Shuttleworth & Co. up on the offer.

"Verizon Wireless is joining Ubuntu's Carrier Advisory Group to participate in technology discussions around this new platform, which has the ability to bring new and exciting features to developers and ultimately, customers," Samir Vaidya of Verizon's device technology team said in a statement on Thursday.

Other members of the group include China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Telecom Italia, Portugal Telecom, Indonesia's Smartfren, and South Korea's LG U+, Korea Telecom, and SK Telecom.

Still other carriers may yet join, but Canonical has said that it plans to close the group to new members by the end of July.

Membership in the group grants participants access to early information about Ubuntu, details of other carriers' plans to support the OS, and the exclusive opportunity to become launch partners once the platform is fully baked.

Exactly when that will be is not known – and when The Reg last looked at Ubuntu running on a mobile device, it was still in a very raw state – but Canonical has promised that the first phones running the OS will be on the market in 2014.

Verizon has not committed to releasing an Ubuntu phone, let alone jumping in for the launch, but many carriers have expressed interest in offering alternatives to the Android and iOS devices that now dominate the smartphone market.

Ubuntu isn't their only option. The Mozilla Foundation is offering Firefox OS as an operating system for inexpensive smartphones targeting developing markets, and Tizen has the backing of the Linux Foundation and a number of prominent companies, most notably Samsung.

But whichever alternative carriers choose, getting customers to pick it over Android or iOS will be an uphill battle. According to stats from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the two leading platforms command 93.9 per cent of all smartphone sales in the US. The third-place contender – Windows Phone – accounted for 4.6 per cent, leaving just 0.7 per cent for BlackBerry and 0.8 per cent for "other." That last category would include Ubuntu. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?