Linux News Today: Ubuntu Community Developer Estimates Number of Ubuntu Phones at 25K
There is a burning question in the Ubuntu community, but Canonical will not answer it, at least for now. The question is: How many Ubuntu phones are there in the wild? One of the Ubuntu community developers has tried to answer it, though.
The success of the Ubuntu Touch platform is linked to the number of phones sold, but Canonical has said on multiple occasions that they’re not there yet, from a business point of view. Yes, their ultimate goal is to have Ubuntu on as many devices as possible, but they are still working on the product and a high number of sales is not a priority, as weird as that might sound.
Nonetheless, the community really wants to know just how many Ubuntu Touch users are there in the wild. This is not an easy thing to determine without the support of Canonical, but nevertheless an estimation can be made. Canonical knows how many Ubuntu phones are out there and chose to mark the point when it crossed 10,000 units, back in June 2014, but not a peep has been heard about it since.
This is an estimation, not something official
One of the community developers of the core apps, Riccardo Padovani, tried to put together an estimation of just how many devices are there by using the number of times the Calculator App has been updated. Even if it might seem like a sure way of knowing, there are some problems right from the start. The only market that can be taken into consideration is Europe. The rest of the world is just getting the phones, and it’s difficult to count them.
Also, people might not update that particular application, or some of them might have deleted it. In any case, there are a number of unforeseen elements that can’t be taken in consideration. So, the number that Ricardo came up with is 17,979 users. Taking everything that he could think of into consideration, he estimates that the total number of Ubuntu Touch users is around 25,000.
It’s hard to tell if this is a lot or too little. If we keep in mind that Canonical has said it doesn’t really care how many phones are there in the wild and that new phones are being launched in limited numbers (the Meizu MX4 can no longer be found), we might suspect that they are fine with these numbers, for the time being.