Linux Phones That Could Not Survive


Table of Contents

​Linux Enthusiasts have always wanted to get their favorite operating system in the palm of their hands. Just like our computers we wish to have robustness, customizability and the ability to do what we want on our phones too. Though there is no denying the fact that we have had several Linux phones, they haven’t really been well received by users. Some people might argue about Google’s Android being based on the Linux Kernel but you know what we are talking about.

​So, In this article let us have a look at some really solid Linux Phones that could not survive the smartphone market.

linux phone market

​Linux Phones But Could Not Survive

BQ Aquaris E5

bq aquaris e5 linux phone

​Launched in June 2015, the BQ Aquaris E5 was the second Linux phone from BQ that was launched with the Ubuntu Touch operating system. Featuring a 5 inch HD display and a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, the phone had a MediaTek chipset. It had 1 GB RAM and 16 GB storage. For a Linux phone in 2015, it was not very impressive. Though the USP was supposed to be the Ubuntu Touch operating system, that didn’t really make up for it. It was pretty impressive though, the entire UI looked fresh and was appreciated by many industry people. It was only made officially available in a handful of European countries where Ubuntu is famous.  

Firefox OS Phones

firefox os phones

​With a view to competing with Android and providing cheaper phones, Firefox launched its Firefox OS based on Linux in early 2013. Many manufacturers picked it up and it got a pretty good start. The Firefox phones were competing with lower-end Android phones and they had most of the basic apps and services. However, it couldn’t create a niche for itself and sales began to decline. This led to Mozilla discontinuing the project in mid 2016.  

Samsung’s Tizen

samsung tizen

​Tizen is Samsung’s attempt at creating a Linux Based Operating System for mobile devices. There were rumors of Samsung officially replacing Android with their Tizen OS but that didn’t happen. Instead, Samsung launches its Tizen series of phones which were again lower-end devices that didn’t sell much. The Tizen project is not dead but considering Android’s current market share, it is highly unlikely that Tizen’s success will ever be mainstream.  


​Though it hasn’t been sunny for Linux on smartphones. There are some interesting things to look forward to. The Librem 5 Linux phone has been creating a lot of buzz and is expected to hit the floors this year. One major reason for a Pure Linux phone not being successful could be that they haven’t been made available to the world. Most of the times they are sold only in certain regions and with lower end configuration.