Ubuntu in talks to make handsets in India

Varun Aggarwal | | Updated on: Jan 22, 2018

Eyeing mobile and Internet of Things markets

The government’s open source policy has given a tremendous push to Microsoft Windows alternatives. Canonical, maker of popular Linux-based operating system Ubuntu, has been piggybacking on this opportunity to penetrate into the government and education sector in the country.

Ubuntu is now eyeing the mobile and Internet of Things markets in India as its next growth driver. The company recently launched its two smartphones in India through Snapdeal. The two handsets, which are available globally, are manufactured by Spanish manufacturer Aquaris. However, Ubuntu is in talks with local handset makers for possible ‘Make in India’ deal.

“India is and continues to be an important focus for us and we are in continuous talks and engagement with other OEM partners,” Jordana Sherman, Marketing Director, Devices, Canonical, said.

The company is pushing its mobility business in India with just a two-member team by outsourcing everything to Snapdeal.

Similar model has worked for them in the desktop and laptop space where they have won multiple large deals by purely working with partners.

“Ubuntu is already well adopted in the government and education, but lately we have seen increase in the number of tenders asking for Ubuntu. Ubuntu has won many deals recently including 30,000 laptops deal from Odisha (Odisha Computer Application Centre), KIIT University with 6000 laptops. and10,000 desktops for Gujarat schools,” Prakash Advani, Regional Director, Sales & Alliances - India & SE Asia, Canonical, told BusinessLine .

Bets on security tools

For IoT, Ubuntu is hoping to bank on its security features to create a place for itself in the highly fragmented market. “There are two major challenges with IoT: Security and open standards. With more connected devices, security will be a major challenge. Ubuntu handles this in a very unique way whereby the operating system is running separately from the applications and will always be secured and updated,” Advani said.

Recent Mckinsey report says lack of open standards will be a major challenge in IoT adoption. Currently, there are 400 different standards that don’t talk to each other.

With Ubuntu being open source and build on open standards, it could act as a driving force for IoT standardisation.

Published on October 28, 2015
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