When Canonical first announced plans to bring us a dual-booting Android and Ubuntu OS smartphone that would be open source and ripe for developers, we got excited. When we saw how they’d gather the funds to do this… well, let’s just say we gulped a bit. The company decided to get the community involved with an IndieGoGo campaign, one that set a target of a whopping $32 million by August 21st.
So where’s the progress now? As of the time of this writing, the campaign sits at $8.6 million in pledges. That’s only 1/4th of the amount they need with just two weeks to go. Things aren’t looking well. Of course, Canonical needs a way to raise interest so they can persuade people to dish more funds to this dream, so the company has decided to drop the price of the Edge to $695. That isn’t some limited time only price, either: it’s a flat $695 for anyone and everyone looking to buy an Edge.
For those who have already pledged at a higher price point, Canonical has promised users a refund of the difference at the end of the campaign should the goal be reached. According to Canonical, this change was made possible thanks to the first business willing to pledge for 1 of 50 Enterprise bundles, an $80,000 bill that would see a company snap up 115 of these phones (used to be 100). Bloomberg LP was the first to make that pledge, and Canonical’s obviously hoping for more to be able to meet its goal.
Canonical also saw fit to remind us that this entire campaign is an IndieGoGo exclusive, meaning if you don’t get a Ubuntu Edge through pledging, you won’t be able to buy one at any point in the future. With that, some are beginning to second guess whether the community was not as strong as we originally thought. The campaign got off to a very fast and impressive start, but has since fizzled out. It’s not easy to raise $10 million, let alone $32 million, no matter how cool the idea is.
We’re obviously keeping our fingers crossed for this dream to come to fruition, though we won’t let our hopes jump too high with how things are looking at this point. Be sure to read more about the Edge smartphone at IndieGoGo, and pledge some funds if you want to see this thing launch at some point next year.