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Feb 20, 2014

Who Are Meizu and bq, the First Ubuntu Touch Hardware Partners?

Canonical has announced the first two hardware partners for Ubuntu Touch, Meizu and bq, but most of the Ubuntu users are not really familiar with these companies. We'll try to shed some light on this matter.

Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical, has been hinting that some hardware companies have been really interested in building devices powered by Ubuntu Touch, but he was always skiddish to name names, probably because the negotiations weren't complete. Fast forward to the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, where Ubuntu and Canonical didn't participate, and we find a Chinese company bragging about Ubuntu Touch running on their Meizu MX3 device. The rumors have been shutdown mercilessly, by various Ubuntu developers, but it turns out that they were actually true (at least partially).

“Meizu is one of China’s most successful high-end smartphone manufacturers with over 1,000 employees, 600 retail stores and a global presence in China, Hong Kong, Israel, Russia and Ukraine. In January, the company announced its strategy to expand into other international markets as well as to ship phones in America later in 2014 and Ubuntu will be a key part of this expansion,” reads the official announcement. From what we can determine, Meizu has been chosen because it's a rising company. Maybe others, more prolific hardware makers will express their interest, but a new one, that is just launching its products, could make a bigger impact.

The second hardware maker chosen to deliver Ubuntu Touch devices is called bq and it's a lot less known then Meizu, but the company is from Spain and the entire production is taken care of inside the European Union. “bq is a manufacturer of multimedia devices operating in Europe and employing 600 people. In 2013, the company shipped almost 1.5 million devices and in less than a year has become the Spain’s second biggest seller of unlocked smartphones. bq will bring Ubuntu onto its latest hardware specifications,” also reads the announcement. This being said, it's likely that most of the users have been expecting a more important partner, but as it stands right now, it's two more partners than there were a week ago.

Image credits to Canonical

Sony to Launch Xperia Z2 Ultra Smartphone Next to Xperia Z2

Sony has been long rumored to plan the launch of an Xperia Z2 smartphone in the not too distant future, maybe as soon as the next week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but it seems that this isn't be the only new device that the Japanese vendor is working on.

In fact, a recent tweet coming from @gadgetleaks suggests that Sony will also launch a certain Xperia Z2 Ultra smartphone next to the Xperia Z2, and that a new tablet PC will also be unveiled soon by the company. Unfortunately, as XperiaBlog notes, no specific info on when these devices will be officially introduced has been provided as of now, and there’s no telling whether they will arrive at MWC 2014.

One thing that is certain, however, is that enthusiasts will certainly enjoy a successor for the large and powerful Xperia Z Ultra.

Sony to launch Xperia Z2 Ultra smartphone next to Xperia Z2
Image credits to Sony

Samsung Galaxy S5 Confirmed to Hit Shelves in Three Weeks

We already know that Samsung will reveal the Galaxy S5 next week at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014 trade fair, but we're still not sure when exactly the smartphone will go on sale.

In order to fill that lack of information, the folks over at GSMArena have talked with a Samsung executive on the upcoming release of the Galaxy S5. Well, it looks like Samsung's flagship smartphone will go on sale earlier than we have anticipated. According to Samsung's official, the Galaxy S5 will be available for purchase in just about three weeks from now.

This means that the handset should hit shelves sometime in mid-March, more than a week ahead of HTC M8's official release, which is slated for March 25. As always, we recommend our readers to take this information with a grain of salt until Samsung comes forward with an official statement.

Samsung Unpacked 5 invitation
Image credits to Samsung

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