Canonical, the company behind the Linux-based Ubuntu open-source platform, has announced what it’s calling “the world’s first Ubuntu phone”. The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition is being produced in partnership with Spanish electronics and software company BQ.
Pricing is €169.90 (around £126.50), with availability expected in the next few weeks. Initial stocks will be released in ‘flash sales’ that’ll be announced online via Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
Specifications include a 4.5-inch display, 8GB of built-in memory, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. The phone runs on MediaTek’s 1.3GHz quad-core Cortex A7 processor and is capable of taking two SIM cards.
Rather than relying on applications for services, the BQ Aquaris Ubuntu uses built-in connectivity options called ‘Scopes’. According to Canonical, it’s simple to develop new Scopes via a UI toolkit, with development and maintenance costs lower than traditional apps.
Cristian Parrino, vice president of Mobile at Canonical, said “Ubuntu presents users with an entirely different way to engage with their devices – Scopes guide you to content you want – in the same way you think about it – to deliver a smooth, engaging experience. For developers, Scopes are a much simpler and more valuable way to build mobile experiences than apps – significantly changing ecosystem dynamics.”
As well as being available SIM-free, the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will be offered with a SIM bundle by MVNO giffgaff in the UK.