Omgubuntu sources indicate that Bq, the company behind the first retail Ubuntu phone, declared bankruptcy earlier this year.
According to the description, Spanish hardware company Bq (also known as Bq Readers) had some success by selling a range of Android phones and tablets in Europe. Bq is a Spanish branded company, but its hardware is made in China.
However, the response to the first Bq Ubuntu phones has not been enthusiastic. On the one hand, scarcity made the phone harder to buy; on the other hand, the relatively high price of the low-end specs dampened the enthusiasm of the public. According to omgubuntu, this may have been a major factor in Bq’s decision to withdraw, and Canonical’s decision to axe the Ubuntu phone project altogether in 2017.
Bq was supported by a Vietnamese hardware company called Vingroup in 2019. After this, the Bq brand was phased out in favour of Vingroup’s ‘Vsmart’ devices. Earlier this year, the subsidiary filed for bankruptcy and Vsmart no longer produces mobile phones.
The official Bq website is currently dormant.