Built for the phone industry

Ubuntu comes to phones with the specific needs of network operators, OEMs and ODMs in mind. It offers great performance on handsets with a low bill of materials, while opening up new opportunities for phone and PC convergence at the top end of the market. And there are many ways in which the user experience can be tailored to your brand.

Install Ubuntu for phones ›
for developers and industry partners only

Two Ubuntu phones side by side

We’re open to everyone

Ubuntu is an open source operating system, which means our code is shared openly throughout the development cycle. We are transparent about our plans for future releases, so as a developer, carrier or manufacturer you can start building apps and phone designs for Ubuntu immediately.

Download the latest daily image ›

Easy, endless customisation

We’ve built Ubuntu to include operator and OEM content, services and branding. Industry can place logos and specify colours on the expansive greeter screen, pre-install featured apps on the launcher, or create Scopes, all with Canonical’s help if needed. Carriers specify the scopes their devices ship. So they can add useful scopes to deliver their own or partner services like local wireless, or city information.

New scopes are easy for industry to develop and publish, and can be built around campaigns or sponsorship tie-ins — with enough real-estate for brand partners. And default scopes like music and video can return prioritised content in search results with connected back-end services like billing, so the user won’t ever feel overwhelmed. It’s customisation in a way users will appreciate.

Stunning design on any smartphone

Ubuntu provides a fast and beautiful experience on inexpensive hardware. It doesn’t have the overhead of a Java virtual machine, so all core applications run at full native speeds with a small memory footprint.

Our traditional consumer users can enjoy a blisteringly fast experience on their mid-range phones. Smart search scopes and intelligent filtering makes it easy to access a huge range of content.

And at the high end, Ubuntu paves the way for a new category of superphones, with a full PC desktop accessible just by docking the device to a monitor and keyboard. A handheld PC is the future of personal computing — true convergence.

Learn more about the Ubuntu experience on smartphones ›

System requirements for smartphones Entry level Ubuntu smartphone “Superphone” that can be a PC
Processor architecture Dual-core Cortex A9 or similar Quad-core A9 or Intel Atom
Memory 512MB – 1GB Min 1GB
Flash storage 4-8GB eMMC + SD Min 32GB eMMC + SD
Multi-touch Yes Yes
Desktop convergence No Yes

Easier hardware enablement

We have teams based in Taipei, Shanghai, London, Beijing and Boston to engage with your engineering and factory operations - and their sole focus is to deliver a crisp Ubuntu experience on your device.

Ubuntu has already been adapted to run on chipsets using ARM and Intel x86 architectures, with the core system based around a typical Android Board Support Package (BSP). So chipset vendors and hardware manufacturers don’t need to invest in or maintain new hardware support packages. In short, if you already make handsets that run Android, the work needed to adopt Ubuntu for smartphones will be trivial.

If you already
make handsets that run Android, the work needed to adopt Ubuntu will be trivial  

The phone with the heart of a PC

High-end smartphones have a brain as powerful as a full PC. Ubuntu, with its next-generation Mir graphics architecture, uniquely enables a new kind of convergence device: a phone that docks to become a full PC and thin client. Enterprise IT departments will soon be able to replace phones, thin clients and laptops with a single corporate device.

With support for remote Windows apps over Microsoft RDP, Citrix or VMWare, the Ubuntu superphone is a complete enterprise solution — and a new opportunity for operators to deliver enterprise IT to SMEs in LTE markets. And because it enjoys the full capabilities of Ubuntu — including kernel-level control of every app — it puts the security and manageability of UNIX in your pocket.

Ubuntu phone docking to become a PC

The developer’s favourite OS

  • Existing web properties can be installed on the Ubuntu phone, where they can run as web apps independent of the browser, with full access to the system just like native apps.
  • Ubuntu is already a wildly popular platform for web developers and savvy users.
  • The standard Android development environment is Ubuntu.
  • HTML5 is fully supported but Ubuntu is not limited to HTML5. To use the full power of the hardware, you can develop native apps, using OpenGL and QML, with C or C++ and Javascript compiled for extra performance.
  • Major game developers like EA, Valve and Unity Technologies are now committing to Ubuntu.
Hello written in a number of languages in Ubuntu speak bubbles

A truly global solution

Ubuntu is already used in over 70 countries and has been translated into over 40 languages. With 20 million desktop users around the world, it is both an established platform and an established global brand.

Backed by Canonical

Canonical is the global software vendor that provides commercial and design support to the Ubuntu project. Today, our hardware enablement team supports the pre-installation of Ubuntu on more than 10% of all new PCs shipped,worldwide.

Thanks to Canonical’s relationships with its OEM partners, Ubuntu has an enormous retail presence in key emerging economies, with branded merchandising and trained retail staff in over 1,000 stores.

Learn more about how we support Ubuntu ›

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