The Ubuntu Edge has failed in its bid to be brought to market through its recent crowdsourcing campaign. The developer behind the smartphone, Canonical, set an ambitious target of $32m, one which it was unable to achieve, raising $12.8m during the process.
Even the developers behind the Ubuntu smartphone believed such a target would be a tough to achieve; it was more than three times the amount of money that has ever been raised this way before. Canonical were able to break crowdsourcing records despite falling short of its target however, raising more than the $10.3m sourced for the Pebble smart watch, the previous record holder.
As the crowdsourcing target was not achieved, anyone who supported the project – which included Bloomberg who pledged $80,000 to the campaign – will have their money returned to them.
Such an ambitious target was necessary to get the phone off the ground; the amount may have seemed high, but by general phone manufacturing standards it is incredibly low. Although many scoffed at the idea of raising $32m through crowdsourcing – few really believed they would be able to achieve such an audacious record, and they were right – Canonical has been able to silence a number of its critics in breaking crowdsourcing records, and has brought the operating system some much needed and well deserved publicity:
“The big winner from this campaign is Ubuntu. While we passionately wanted to build the Edge to showcase Ubuntu on phones, the support and attention it received will still be a huge boost as other Ubuntu phones start to arrive in 2014.
“Thousands of you clearly want to own an Ubuntu phone and believe in our vision of convergence, and rest assured you won’t have much longer to wait.
“All of the support and publicity has continued to drive our discussions with some major manufacturers, and we have many of the world’s biggest mobile networks already signed up to the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group. They’ll have been watching this global discussion of Ubuntu and the need for innovation very closely indeed. Watch this space!”
The Ubuntu Edge was designed with power in mind; it would have come supplied with 128GB of internal storage, 4GB of RAM, and a 4.5-inch HD “pure sapphire crystal” screen. It would have also been able to run the Linux based Ubuntu OS, a mobile version of the popular PC operating system, as well as Android.
As of yet no smartphone has been released running the Ubuntu mobile OS, despite launching in January; smartphone manufacturers are more interested in using the Android or Windows Phone operating systems. It was for this reason Canonical attempted to build its own smartphone, instead of relying on a third party manufacturer.
Although the tech firm may have failed in its crowdsourcing campaign, it has been able to bring the new OS to the spotlight, giving it some much needed press awareness. Ubuntu mobile can only go up from here; we may have a new contender to take on the likes of Microsoft, Apple, and Google in the smartphone wars on our hands.