The future of the Ubuntu Phone looks very black, especially since even its own creators seem to have resigned themselves.
If you want to buy a new smartphone, today you have two alternatives: either the iOS platform or the Android platform. There are other options, but none are recommended for the average user for a simple reason; they are dying.
Windows Phone is the one that is best, within the bad, because it would still have a last resort; but the rest of the alternatives have either disappeared or are about to do so. Whether they are Android-based systems, or that have gone their own way, there is none that has achieved anything like success.
Ubuntu Phone, a project destined for failure?
Ubuntu Phone was one of these alternatives; the famous desktop Linux distro made the leap to mobile format with a very ambitious project. In his favor he had an existing platform, an enthusiastic community and a name that even non-Linux users recognize.
Only one fundamental piece was missing: the manufacturers. Meizu and bq joined the challenge, with Android mobile versions with Ubuntu pre-installed.
But these launches were few and limited; no manufacturer wanted to risk, beyond a limited edition. And some of the advertised models did not even come to fruition.
Perhaps the best known case is that of Ubuntu Edge; quite a toast to the sun of Canonical that received many headlines but little else.
The best smartphone that could be obtained at that time, with Ubuntu; the goal, raise $ 32 million, was impossible and everyone knew it. Maybe that’s what best defines the Ubuntu Phone project.
The future of Ubuntu Phone is in doubt
We have been without news of new devices compatible with Ubuntu Phone for almost a year, and the Meizu Pro 5 is the last device released with Ubuntu pre-installed. Don’t expect better news this 2017.
For now Canonical has confirmed that there will be no new Ubuntu Phone devices; at least not until the system is updated with the Snap system, the new platform to easily install applications.
Ubuntu Phone currently uses the Click system, but that has been abandoned in favor of Snap; now it’s time for the arduous task of convert existing apps to new system. It is slow progress, but absolutely necessary so as not to release obsolete factory devices.
Of course, the worst news is not that. Responding to rumors, Canonical’s Pat McGowan has confirmed that the next scheduled OTA, OTA-15, just won’t come.
No new functionality is expected in the current stable version; the only updates to come will be security. For all intents and purposes, Ubuntu Phone development is low.
Instead of that Canonical is focusing again on the desktop, especially with the new version of Unity that can already be tested. It makes sense, as the distraction of Ubuntu Phone has meant that the Ubuntu desktop version has barely gotten any news in recent years.
It is early to declare the death of Ubuntu Phone; But what is clear is that 2017 will be the hardest year for the platform.