T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) joined fellow U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) in the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group, a consortium of mobile operators participating in technology discussions around the Linux-based operating system.
The 13-member group now includes representatives from the United States, Europe and Asia. However, it's unclear how much actual support Verizon and T-Mobile will throw to Ubuntu. Ubuntu said T-Mobile "will join discussions to influence the development of Ubuntu for smartphones."
Verizon announced its support for the group in July, and was the first U.S. operator to join the group. Other members include China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE and SK Telecom.
Canonical, the firm behind the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system, is seeking to raise $32 million via crowdfunding site Indiegogo to launch the Ubuntu Edge smartphone that will dual-boot both Ubuntu and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android. So far Canonical has raised around $7 million, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Canonical plans to produce 40,000 Ubuntu Edge smartphones, slated to feature a 4.5-inch sapphire crystal display, 4 GB of RAM, support for dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4 and Near Field Communications, as well as features like GPS, accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass and barometer.
"It's sort of like a concept car," Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth told Businessweek. "But instead of waiting three years to see if something like it gets built, we're going to try and build it now."
Previously only available for computers, Ubuntu for phones allows users to navigate through the platform by swiping from one side of their screen to another: swiping from the left brings up a list of favorite apps, swiping from the right navigates to the most recently used app and swiping from the bottom brings up each app's menu. The first Ubuntu devices are expected to reach retail in October.
- see this Ubuntu site
- see this ZDNet article
- see this Bloomberg Businessweek article
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