Last year saw plenty of progress for Canonical and Ubuntu Touch, including the release of early test ROMs, the Ubuntu Edge crowdfunding project, and the eventual release of the first official system images. Still, that was tempered by its fair share of disappointments; while the Edge was incredibly ambitious, it ultimately failed to achieve its goals, and the software we ultimately got still had a very “unfinished” feel to it. Maybe most telling about the progress Canonical had (or hadn’t) made, we still don’t have any commercial Ubuntu-running smartphones. We’ve already heard assurances that at least one OEM has been tapped to produce a “high-end” Ubuntu smartphone sometime this year, and now we’re hearing about the possibilities of others.
In a Hangout yesterday, Canonical’s Jono Bacon addressed the issue of what we’ll see this year so far as Ubuntu hardware goes, and while he wasn’t able to offer many specifics, did comment “I’m confident that in 2014 you’re going to see a number of Ubuntu phones hitting the market. I can’t tell you [from who] right now but I can tell you that awesome things are happening.”
It also sounds like we’re looking at the strong possibility of Ubuntu phones arriving from a number of hardware partners, rather than Canonical finding itself mainly dealing with just one OEM. Again, we don’t have any names, nor even assurances that this will indeed happen, but Bacon’s statements have us optimistic that by this time next year, we could be looking at a decent crop for the Ubuntu phone harvest.