Canonical confirms the death of the Ubuntu Phone ecosystem

April 25, 2017 // 11:55 a.m.

Tags: #canonical #linux #mir #ubuntu #ubuntu-phone #ubuntu-smartphone #ubuntu-touch #unity

Canonical has confirmed that it is ending support for its wildly unsuccessful Ubuntu Touch project, with security and functionality updates to cease as of June this year.

Created following a failed - though, it could be argued, intentionally so - attempt to crowdfund an Ubuntu-powered top-end smarpthone capable of acting as both a mobile device and a desktop computer, Ubuntu Touch has not been a success for Canonical. Though a handful of low-end handsets appeared featuring the software, including the Bq Aquaris M10 which had an early version of the unified device vision installed, it failed to capture any real market share from Android or iOS.

When the company announced it was abandoning its Unity desktop environment, along with the related Mir display server and the Unity-based Ubuntu Touch, those few with an Ubuntu smartphone knew their days were numbered. Now, though, Canonical has put an official date on the tombstone: Ubuntu Touch will receive no further security or functionality updates past June this year.

As well as leaving existing devices with no upgrade path to fix vulnerabilities or other bugs, Canonical has confirmed to Network World that it is also to remove from sale any paid-for applications on the Ubuntu Phone app store at the same time. Developers will be given the choice of releasing their software for free or having it removed from sale, while they will be able to push updates to existing applications through to the end of 2017 after which that feature too will be disabled.

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