Vodafone Launches ARM-Powered Ubuntu “Webbook” in South Africa
This is going to be a first. Ubuntu is the world’s most popular Linux distro. Getting a netbook of laptop bundled with it has been the hardest thing in the world. The Vodafone announced that it has launched the Vodafone Webbook which looks like an Asus Eee netbook which has been branded Vodafone and sold as “Vodafone Webbook”. South Africa is the first country to get this but we might soon see it in Tanzania or Kenya.
Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system that is a free, fast, easy-to-use, and open source computer programme that was pioneered by Mark Shuttleworth.
The device is a 10.1″ netbook form factor weighing in at 0.97 kg with a 2200 mAh battery. Memory bundled on the netbook is a measly 512MB of DDR2 RAM coupled with 4GB of flash storage. Don’t expect to run any serious applications with such kind of memory. One of the enticing hardware feature for the Vodafone Webbook is its processor.
It runs on a 800 MHz Freescale iMX515 (based on the ARM Cortex-A8), making this netbook the first to ship with a mainstream Linux distribution compiled for the ARM architecture, rather than x86.
Mark Shuttleworth said: “We are delighted to provide the operating system for the Vodafone Webbook. Ubuntu’s founding principle is to remove the barriers of access to computing for everyone, and products like this give hope of connectivity to people all over the world.”
The prices of the Vodafone Webbook are as follows:
• As a standalone device with a prepaid option: R1499 ($190) including VAT.
• With a prepaid Starter Pack: R1899 ($240) including VAT (Starter Pack includes a modem, SIM card and 100MB of data per month for 12 months).
• With a Contract option, the device with a modem will be priced at R189 ($25) on a standard My Meg 500 for 24 months.
• A Top Up option is also available and includes a modem and 100MB of data per month for 3 months @ R169 ($20) on a Top Up 135.
The Vodafone Webbook will be available at Vodacom World and all participating outlets on order from 19 October 2011.