According to the Wall Street Journal, Canonical is claiming that its new Ubuntu OS will be with developers by late February—ready for phones to launch in "two geographically large markets" this October.
The Wall Street Journal doesn't explain which company will be making the first Ubuntu phones, but Canonical claims that it will be easy for Android phone manufacturers to hop across to the new platform. The Journal sadly doesn't hint at where those large markets, targeted by the initial launch, are.
If you want to know more about what we can expect from Ubuntu's mobile OS, you can read our hands-off—but expect no buttons, a gesture-heavy interface, and straightforward compatibility with external displays and keyboards In fact, Canonical's also spoken to Fast Co. Design about its design philosophy for the new OS. The interview makes for a pretty wacky read, with Canonical citing traditional Japanese architecture as an inspiration for the new design.