Ubuntu is launching its first smartphone, and it’ll be called the Aquaris E4.5. The smartphone will launch in Europe for select users only and will apparently be as challenging to get – as it is to remember the name of the device and service. Previously billed a Linux-based operating system, Ubuntu is focusing this device on delivering services to users. Ultimately, getting more users to keep more of their services on their device is a better plan than what the company previously attempted to do with regards to creating a mobile platform. The last attempt that Ubuntu made was to create a smartphone that could also function as a desktop device. While that may sound great on paper, in real-life practice, it was an absolute disaster.
The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu edition will feature mid-range specifications that won’t overly impress anyone, and probably won’t be catching mainstream attention anytime soon, either. Granted, it will be fairly priced at just €169.90. It will feature a 4.5-inch LCD display, with a Mediatek Quad Core Arm Cortex-A7 processor that will clock at roughly 1.3GHz. It’ll feature 1GB of RAM, as well as 8GB of flash storage. Somewhat impressively, the device will feature an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. That might not sound overly impressive, but the fact that the front-facing camera is 5MP really does speak to the lengths at which even low-level smartphone makers are willing to go to capture the new selfie-crazed audience that is looking for smartphone devices now-a-days.
Canonical is the company that owns and operates Ubuntu, and the company’s VP of mobile Christian Parrino noted that “We’re launching in a very different way, and I think that’s critical. We can’t replicate the mistakes made by other platforms in recent years that have gone into volume on day one by sticking phones on retail and not really giving any thought to what it takes to launch in a mature and cluttered mobile market.”
It’s a smart approach for the company. However, a smart approach isn’t necessarily going to be all it takes to win in this market that is already dominated by some serious names. Even worse is the fact that many once-regional companies in China are expanding their market share by dominating Asia more-effectively. These are all factors that will hurt what Ubuntu could do in this particular mobile platform market.