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Ubuntu Phone Coming to the Developing World
Ubuntu’s potential in markets like China and India is difficult to discern
By: Bob Gourley
Jan. 21, 2013 10:30 AM
Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical, revealed his plan to release a version of Ubuntu software for smartphones. Shuttleworth aims to target developing countries and believes Ubuntu will have an easy transition into these markets due to the software’s brand recognition in these countries.
Ubuntu’s potential in markets like China and India is difficult to discern. While Mr. Shuttleworth’s claim that 30% of Chinese PC’s are shipped with the Ubuntu software is factually accurate, the Ubuntu software on these computers is often quickly replaced by pirated copies of Microsoft Windows. In addition to Ubuntu’s questionable brand recognition, smartphone competition in developing countries is predicted to grow quickly over the next two years. Intel just announced two days ago that the company would releasing a smartphone chip aimed at the same markets Shuttleworth hopes to capture. As new contenders continue to enter the smartphone market in developing countries, Google has been quietly gaining a strategic foothold in the African and Chinese markets as low cost Android phones continue to gain popularity.
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