Next year might finally bring smartphones developed specifically for the Ubuntu Touch OS. Even though Canonical’s ambitious Ubuntu Edge smartphone could never reach its insane crowdfunding goal, its not like the team gave up on trying to get the OS on smartphones. Stable builds have already been released for Nexus devices, but a smartphone partner means that the OS will finally have a shot at other players in the global smartphone market. The announcement about the first hardware partner was made by Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth today at the LeWeb conference, he says that high-end phones powered by Ubuntu Touch OS will be available in 2014.
The company obviously isn’t settling for just one partner. Shuttleworth reveals that Canonical is also in board level discussions with a number of other potential partners as well, “four household brands” as he calls them, brands that “sell a lot of phone all over the world, in emerging and fully emerged markets, to businesses and consumers.” Unfortunately, he has not named the one hardware partner that they already have locked down, and neither has he revealed the names of other potential partners. Ubuntu Touch OS still has a long way to go, and its likely to receive competition from another new mobile platform that’s anxiously being awaited, Intel and Samsung’s Tizen OS. 2014 is definitely going to be an interesting year.
There has already been a lot of speculation about the flagship devices that Samsung is due to release in 2014. The company is expected to release Galaxy S5 ahead of schedule, and already we have heard quite a bit about what its likely to tout under the hood. Apart from the rumors of a 64-bit Exynos 6 processor and a 20 megapixel camera, a latest one coming out of Korea suggests that Samsung might not use AMOLED panels for next year’s flagship. In fact, the company is rumored to use PLS LCD displays for both the Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy Note 4.
The company is apparently making this decision so as to reduce production costs by as much as 20 percent. PLS LCD panels are already used in a number of Samsung devices such as the Nexus 10 and Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets. It remains to be seen how consumers will react to this decision, that is if Samsung decides to stick with it and opt for PLS LCD displays. OLED displays are no doubt one of the biggest selling points of the high-end flagship Galaxy devices. On the other hand, recent rumors about the Galaxy S5 display suggest that it will tout a 2K resolution. So this is far from being confirmed at this stage, and with no official statement from Samsung itself, its best to take such rumors with a grain of salt.