Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth revealed at CeBIT in Germany that the first Ubuntu smartphones coming this year will be quite affordable, and probably cheaper than fans would have expected, The Inquirer reports, especially following the unsuccessful Ubuntu Edge Indiegogo campaign last summer. The high-end Ubuntu Edge smartphone was priced at $830 initially, although the company later dropped it to around $700 while trying to gather the funds needed for the Ubuntu super phone to become reality.
“[They] will come out in the mid-higher edge, so $200 to $400,” Shuttleworth said about the actual Ubuntu phones that will be released this year. “We’re going with the higher end because we want people who are looking for a very sharp, beautiful experience and because our ambition is to be selling the future PC, the future personal computing engine.”
The first Ubuntu smartphones will be made by Meizu and BQ, and should launch at some point this fall. According to Shuttleworth, Canonical isn’t going after iPhone users, who have an “emotional connection” to the Apple ecosystem. Instead it may be targeting Android buyers.
The exec said Canonical built upon the knowledge gained from seeing Google’s success. “Android wasn’t designed or built to be your personal computer,” Shuttleworth said. “We have the benefit of starting late so we were able to think about it very deeply before it got going.”
“I think as people get more and more excited about having a personal computing device that can be a TV or a piece of wearable computing, they’ll be more excited about being part of Ubuntu’s mobile story,” he said, adding that “Android has served its purpose for sure, but perhaps it’s time for something new. If you really look at the heart of Google’s business model I don’t think it totally depends on Android, because they have great services.”