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A New Ubuntu Phone Is In Development

References to a 'new handset' spotted in recent bug report

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Midori is a character from Dragonball

Midori — named after a character in a manga series

Midori is the name of a nimble WebKit-based web browser — but might it also be the codename for a new Ubuntu Phone?

According to some recent chatter on the Ubuntu Touch IRC and on Launchpad, it could well be.

Reader Richard S — and big thanks to you Richard! — pointed us to bug #1551811. This bug mentions the device codename ‘Midori’ with regards to a ‘trust prompt’ issue that causes a reboot on the MX4 and the mystery new handset.

Later on in the bug report Pat McGowan, Director of Engineering at Canonical, says: “This will block midori rc”. RC is the Release Candidate channel for Ubuntu Touch images.

A quick Google shows that the codename ‘Midori’ is in keeping with the codenames of previous Ubuntu devices, as it is, is once again, based on a character from the Dragon Ball franchise:

  • Krillin Bq Aquaris E4.5
  • Arale Meizu MX4
  • Vegeta Bq Aquaris E5
  • Turbo Meizu PRO 5
  • Frieza Bq Aquaris M10 HD
  • Cooler Bq Aquaris M10 FHD
  • Midori Currently Unknown

Using these codenames we can — with thanks to Stormflut for the deduction — guess that Meizu is the OEM of the new device, as:

“Midori Norimaki is a Dr. Slump character like Arale (MX4) and Turbo (PRO 5). She appears in Dragonball too, but only when the two universes meet, so she is not a true Dragonball character.”

Evidence that this is a new phone (as opposed to a new tablet) is gleaned by some chitter-chatter on the #ubuntu-touch IRC channel.

There, in a chat on June 21, Canonical Software Engineer Tony Espy make reference to “a new handset”:

we're working on a fairly large ofono change at the moment for a new handset

so we expect to land a new version of ofono soon 

although not before the freeze for OTA12

Is this ‘new handset’ the ‘Midori’ device mentioned further up? Time will tell…

A New Device Is Expected

My usual Ubuntu Touch sources had told me that a new handset was ‘incoming’ but were unable to reveal much more. I had expected the new phone to be the reason for Canonical’s sudden press call a few weeks back (where, evidently, it wasn’t).

Richard who tipped us sums up the situation as it stands: “I know these aren’t bullet proof facts, but I think Midori is a codename for a new phone. Maybe a Meizu one…”.

We’ll carry on digging to find out as much as we can on this mystery new device and update you as soon as possible.

But I should remind you that not all devices that get tested and/or used in Ubuntu phone development go on to a commercial release. For now treat this as rumour rather than fact.

Big thanks to Richard S!