A year after it revealed another attempt to muscle in on the smartphone market, Canonical’s first Ubuntu-based smartphone is due to go on sale in Europe in the “coming days”, it said today. The device will be sold for €169.90 (~$190) unlocked to any carrier network, although some regional European carriers will be offering SIM bundles at the point of purchase. The hardware is an existing mid-tier device, the Aquaris E4.5, made by Spain’s BQ — with the Ubuntu version of the device known as the ‘Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition’. So the only difference here is it will be pre-loaded with Ubuntu’s mobile software, rather than Google’s Android platform.
Canonical has been trying to get into the mobile space for a while now. Back in 2013, the open source software maker failed to crowdfund a high end converged smartphone-cum-desktop-computer, called the Ubuntu Edge — a smartphone-sized device that would been powerful enough to transform from a pocket computer into a fully fledged desktop when plugged…