tablet-media-player-largeTablets running Ubuntu will hit the market ‘simultaneously’ with the first Ubuntu smartphones, Mark Shuttleworth has said. 

‘Ubuntu Tablets will arrive  simultaneously with Ubuntu phones.’

The former CEO of Canonical explained that early discussions with mobile networks through the Carrier Advisory Group had led his company to ‘push back’ on their original plans for the phone in order to factor in development of a tablet interface — a move that in effect brought plans for it forward.

The current Ubuntu 14.04 development cycle has been heavily focused on bringing the tablet spec up-to-spec for a v1.0 release this April, while work on honing the Mir display server to handle the adaptive convergent needs of larger screens has also progressed at speed.

But hearing that devices will hit the market in the latter half of this year is a surprise. Speaking to Steve Costello for MWL TV, Shuttleworth stated:

“[Tablets] will arrive pretty much simultaneously with phones. Q3, middle of this year we’ll see both phones and tablets running Ubuntu on the market.”


‘Could one of Canonical’s existing laptop partners like Lenovo or HP be involved?’

With tablets on the way the big question is who’s going to be making them? One of those ‘big name’ companies Shutteworth also mentioned recently?

Bq, one of the OEMs launching the first Ubuntu smartphones, also sell some nicely-specc’d mid-range tablets, making them apotential partner.

But might a separate/additional manufacturer be involved? Could it be one of Canonical’s existing laptop partners like Lenovo or HP? Or might it follow the trend of the first phone being handled by a smaller company?

Earlier this year I heard rumours that System76 — who source, import and customise traditional PC and laptop hardware to run Ubuntu — is looking to launch an Ubuntu tablet at some point in the near future.

What is interesting is that after so long of having few concrete details on launch plans we now have several to chew over. And things won’t stop there. 2015 should see more manufacturers climb aboard; Unity 8 will land on the desktop; and work on the ‘convergence’ ideal of having mobile as the heart of a user’s computing needs should see the ‘docking mode’ everyone gets so excited by fully realised.

And that doesn’t even touch on Ubuntu TV or wearables — a segment Shuttleworth has recently started to mention when talking about the convergence vision…

“Ubuntu is really unique is that it has this beautiful design on the phone, but it’s also designed at the same time to to feed all of those other ecosystems, from wearables to the PC.”

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