Ubuntu Edge A No-Go


An ambitious goal of raising $32 million in 30 days via crowdfunding to support Canonical's new Ubuntu Edge smartphone proved to be too ambitious for the London, England-based Ubuntu parent company. In the end, less than $13 million was pledged.

At the start of the campaign, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth said in a promotional video that in order to be successful, the company would "have to smash every record in crowdfunding history."

The company did smash records such as fastest project to reach $2 million, which the company pulled off in just under eight hours. It also holds the record for highest amount ever raised in a 24-hour period at $3.45 million.

[Related: Canonical Seeks Investors For Worlds Most Powerful Smartphone]

According to an Ubuntu and Canonical blog, two separate price drops ultimately brought the price of the phone down from $830 to $695. But, even with the support of an $80,000 pledge from Bloomberg, the campaign still fell short.

The $32 million would have been enough to produce 40,000 devices and prove a market demand for the new hardware and software technology, according to the blog.

Specifics of the smartphone's hardware had not yet been finalized when the campaign launched, but Shuttleworth promised potential investors at least 4-GB RAM, 128-GB onboard storage and the fastest multicore processor available at the time of production.

Shuttleworth said in July that Canonical was "not trying to get into the phone business." Instead, he said, Canonical was "working with phone companies for your normal, mid- and high-end phones."

According to the Ubuntu Edge and Canonical blog post, even though the end goal was not met, the company is still taking away "so many positives" including a lot of attention and buzz around the Ubuntu operating system. Other smartphones sporting the operating system are expected to hit the market in 2014.

The Ubuntu Edge would have been a limited edition product available only to the supporters of the campaign, according to Shuttleworth. Instead of shipping out smartphones, PayPal will be submitting full refunds to all campaign supporters within five business days.

PUBLISHED AUG. 22, 2013