Canonical is attempting to ship an actual smartphone that will do just about everything a smartphone can and also serve as a desktop PC delivering Ubuntu GNU/Linux to a monitor/keyboard/mouse when docked. By crowd-sourcing a wad of capital they plan to be able to deliver in quantity by May of 2014 and catch the wave of this sort of technology. They will combine the best of both worlds of smartphones and GNU/Linux in one smart package.
“The Ubuntu Edge project aims to … provide a low-volume, high-technology platform, crowdfunded by enthusiasts and mobile computing professionals. A pioneering project that accelerates the adoption of new technologies and drives them down into the mainstream.”
I have no doubt this is the way technology will go. Just as PCs were much more valuable networked. A dock is a great way to network smartphones, achieving greater bandwidth and ease of operation especially for creating other than audio/video with a smartphone. The timing is about right as well. Currently, this technology is struggling and is not mainstream. I have no doubt that in the Christmas season of 2013 that will change. $30million will easily engage some capable manufacturer to build many thousands of units. If they sell smartly, 2014 could see its first million units.
That will be a great year as GNU/Linux will likely reach smartphones in a swarm of Tizen, Chrome OS, and Ubuntu GNU/Linux offerings. It’s time that Android/Linux and GNU/Linux combined forces and forever ban non-free software to narrow damp niches in the rock of IT.