Canonical developer Michael Hall says that there are over 10,000 unique users running Ubuntu phone OS on their devices. Where did this number come from? Did they tracked the number of download? No, that would be too vague to conclude how many users are actually using the mobile OS.
Ubuntu Phone users have to log into their Ubuntu One account (U1 file storage and music was discontinued this year), so that they can get updates or manage applications, just the way it works with Android, iOS or Windows 8. This gives Canonical the ability to know how many users used their U1 account to connect to the store and that’s where these numbers are coming from.
Michael Hall is quite excited by these numbers, “Not only is this a milestone, but it’s down right amazing when you consider that there are currently no phones available to purchase with Ubuntu on them.”
What excites him more is that these 10,000 plus people took pains to manually install Ubuntu Phone on their supported devices. These figures may also include those running it in emulator as well.
Ten thousand ‘active’ users is not a small number, but it doesn’t indicate that the same users will go out and buy an Ubuntu hardware. Though we have also seen an extremely interesting Ubuntu Edge campaign which rose millions of dollars for an Ubuntu device.
Hard time ahead!
No leading hardware player has showed interest Ubuntu Phone so it will remain a huge challenge for Canonical to enter big and revenue generating markets. Even Microsoft is struggling to get Windows phones in hands of users and it resorted to piggy backing on Nokia’s branding by purchasing the mobile division of the Finnish company.
Two Canonical partners Meizu and Bq will start shipping Ubuntu phones and that’s when we will see where it stands. As far as Ubuntu Phone OS is concerned, it is an excellent OS with a neat UI, but it is still far from being complete and lacks prime content as well as apps to attract users from the developed markets where Android and iOS are the dominant forces.
If you want to test Ubuntu on your supported device, follow this Wiki page.