Fans of Ubuntu have been waiting patiently for a phone running Canonical’s mobile OS to make its way to retail shelves. Thanks to Chinese OEM Meizu, they may only have a few more months to wait. The Meizu MX-series phone with Ubuntu is expected to launch in China and select European markets in the first quarter of 2015 following an agreement signed with Canonical this week. Meizu won’t be shipping it with a vanilla OS, however. It will feature a new version of the company’s Flyme OS, based on Ubuntu instead of Android.
It has been almost 10 months since we last heard about Canonical and Chinese manufacturer Meizu’s plans for the Ubuntu Mobile, also known as Ubuntu Touch, operating system. The pair have now reaffirmed the partnership, and according to Meizu, the first Ubuntu Mobile phone will finally be released in early 2015. News broke in the local press, and has been confirmed on Meizu’s official Facebook page, in a post saying simply that “a strategic agreement” had be signed on November 25. The post goes on to ask what we expect from the cooperation, which is an excellent question. An actual phone would be nice. In February, we were told to expect Ubuntu-powered phones to arrive late this year, and for the devices to be sold internationally through Meizu’s online store. Things looked positive when Meizu demonstrated a prototype Ubuntu Mobile phone at Mobile World Congress, and the early builds of the software appeared to be almost ready for launch.