Canonical announced a while ago two hardware partners for its Ubuntu Touch operating system, and now the company will showcase its OS on a Meizu MX3 phone for the first time.There is no exact launch date for the smartphones from Bq and Meizu powered by Ubuntu, but it looks like the marketing for this OS is going to start at Mobile Asia Expo 2014, a conference that is scheduled to debut on June 11 in Shanghai.
Given the fact that Meizu is a company that is best known in China for its high-quality products, it's easy to understand why Canonical believes that this is the best place to show Ubuntu running on other hardware than Nexus devices.
“As China's leading manufacturer of high-end smartphones, Meizu is Ubuntu's first mobile phone partner. Since the partnership announced in February, the two sides built a new ecosystem from the ground up. Ubuntu will also showcase the latest features, including the content discovery ‘scopes,’ so that users can search directly from the home screen and access the content, applications and services,” reads the announcement of Meizu's website.
Canonical is working very hard to provide a stable system in time for the targeted autumn launch and it looks like Meizu will be, in fact, the first company to feature the new operating system. There is no word from Bq, Canonical’s European partner, but some news on that front is likely to follow soon.
The Ubuntu developers are also trying to establish a new stable branch for the new operating system that will be designated RTM (release-to-manufacturing). This particular version will be extremely stable and ready for integration in a device that will actually get sold.
Right now, users can test Ubuntu for phones only if they have a Nexus device (the latest Nexus 5 is not yet supported), but when various other hardware manufacturers start to release their own versions, we might see other phones supported as well.
A few other operating systems besides Android have started to pop up, like Firefox OS and Tizen, but none of them has yet to make a serious impression. Ubuntu Touch is fresh and different enough that it might be able to shake the market more than its competitors.
If you happen to swing by Shanghai, you will be able to find Ubuntu’s booth in Hall 2, N2.A10 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.