Canonical on Tuesday announced that the company has entered an agreement with a smartphone maker to get Ubuntu Touch, its mobile operating system, out in the market. "We have concluded our first set of agreements to ship Ubuntu on mobile phones," founder Mark Shuttleworth told CNET. He did not disclose the name of the OEM, but said that the company's mobile OS will be available on high-end phones sometime next year.

He also shared that the company is already in broad-level discussions with at least four other "household brands" that sell a lot of phones all over the world.


Ubuntu Touch OS is the mobile version of Ubuntu – the popular Linux distribution. It uses Qt5-based touch user interface and same core technologies as its desktop counterpart. The USP of this mobile operating system is that it provides a full fledged Ubuntu desktop experience when the device is connected to an external monitor.

Canonical's mobile operating system officially arrived in October 2013 but a hardware partner remained unavailable until now. Although the company earlier tried to crowdsource the funding for its ambitious Ubuntu Edge series of smartphones the campaign ultimately fell flat. However, the option to load the OS on Nexus phones was available ever since the preview images were made available in February.

It will be interesting to see the way Canonical positions itself in the fiercely competitive mobile OS market, which is already dominated by giants like Apple and Google.