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Can the Ubuntu Edge campaign make it? Price discounted to $695 with 2 weeks to go

Canonical Ubuntu Edge front back title

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.

Continue reading on the Ubuntu Edge forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    Cart before the horse here kinda. I would like to know if Ubuntu as a mobile os is really even worth dropping this kind of money before I make a decision like that.

    • David Narada Brown

      i would rely on android for mobile. ubuntu would be for desktop only if i made the purchase. the specs of this thing tho is amazing! What carrier would you need to be with tho?

      • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

        Tmobile

      • Del373

        The disk space alone has me drooling. I wish we had 128GB phones widely available.

    • http://opinadorcompulsivo.blogspot.com Miquel Mayol i Tur

      See it this way:
      it is an android phone plus a dual boot Ubuntu phone and desktop

    • John Toxworthy

      Agreed. Not being able to see/touch one at a brick and mortar deters me.

    • Mike D

      Buy a Nexus 7, flash whatever version is available for it.

      Granted, its still a limited build, but it’ll give you at least a vague idea.

      • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

        I flashed the very first version available on to my old gnex. It was just so limited I couldn’t get a good feel for it. Trust me though I’m hoping Ubuntu mobile is takes off, it seems like something I could enjoy using.

        • Mike D

          Fair enough. I watched a few videos of that build and decided it was too early to bother with it.

          I’m with you though, I’d like it to do well for sure. When Android came out, I saw it had massive potential, I see the same in this.

          • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

            So much potential. I can’t wait for a final build.

          • Del373

            I hope it succeeds. The UI and functionality ideas they have look really nice. I’ll also admit that I’m hoping they succeed mostly because I want their project to get funded and be a resounding success so they might consider doing it again…say…when I have the money to afford one myself. :P

          • AMbro86

            Same here. I see this as being monumental in the future. I really liked Unbuntu for phones earlier this year, and now the Edge has me super excited! Unfortunately I can’t currently afford it, but I would pledge money on the Edge if I had it. I do hope it goes places though because I would definitely want a device like this in the future.

  • http://opinadorcompulsivo.blogspot.com Miquel Mayol i Tur

    Not with personal customers, perhaps if some companies and or the SoC provider helps purchasing and selling the units once made it will go on

  • Montisaquadeis

    One reason I wont be backing this is because we do not know if its arm based or x86 based and you will be skimping on apps either way considering most desktop based linux apps are x86 and that most android apps are arm based.So you wont get the full experience either way.

    • guitarist5122

      I’d be down if I knew it was coming to Verizon, what kind of processor is in it, what version of android, and how likely is it to keep somewhat updated with android. I imagine developer support will be wonderful.

      • David Narada Brown

        they havent decided on a processor they stated it would be a dual core “best available” processor. I would definitely hope it had dev support, preferably paranoid android! love that rom.

      • Guest

        Well, you know it won’t have ANY version of Android without community support since it will run a version of Ubuntu.

        • Kevin

          They came out and said that the phone would be running Ubuntu, but that it would also have the option to boot into Android. It’s a good idea, it grabs the Android enthusiast while easing the transition over to Ubuntu so no one loses their cheese right away.

      • AMbro86

        It should work on Verizon. At least that’s what they’re promising. Which would actually be a feat in and of itself, all the other things aside. One phone that works on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon? I don’t know of a device that has pulled that off yet.

        Then again, they may be promising compatibility, but may make an LTE and GSM version and then ask you your preference at or near launch of the final product. That would seem more likely.

  • Dan

    I really seemed interesting, but I’ve always bought phones on contract. Paying full price would not be justifiable for me no matter how cool the phone is.

    • Del373

      I felt the same way, but I’ll need to change my tune seeing as I’m with Verizon and intend on keeping my unlimited data plan for as long as I can.

  • Defenestratus

    I think Ubuntu users in general greatly overestimate the amount of widespread enthusiasm for … ubuntu.

  • AJ

    This phone will have the best multicore available and will be available for use on Verizon, Sprint, ATT, and TMobile

    • Del373

      …provided the project gets completely funded by the deadline.

  • np6s4x

    nearly 9 million for something crowd funded is quite amazing, already beating probably like 99% of anything that’s been on kickstarter, but 32 i would think is out of reach no matter what it is

    • AMbro86

      That’s what none of the analysts or journalists have really talked about. Perhaps it’s not the support that’s the problem, but the crowdfunding nature itself. I mean you’re asking ordinary people to massively invest in an unproven technology.

      That said, if I had the money right now I would totally drop an investment on this!

      • np6s4x

        yea, they have nearly 20,000 backers, so not exactly a small amount, also it being on indiegogo might be part of it too, considering the one on top of their “most funded” page is only 1.6million, this being 5.5x that, and compared to kickstarter having 10million+ for it’s top one

  • Andzzzz

    fails worse than Tmobozo’s new data plan.

  • Aiden

    It’s just too expensive in my opinion. It really needed to be under $500 to sell I think. At least that’s my feeling about it.

    • Del373

      Most premium smart phones are around $600-$700 unsubsidized. Considering the specifications the Edge has, the suggested price is actually quite reasonable. The problem I think is that there aren’t enough people who could afford an off-contract phone at the moment (myself included), and as Canonical themselves stated, big businesses can’t be relied upon to take leaps of faith with things like this.

      • Kyle

        I agree the price isn’t bad, really with what you get it would be expected to be even more considering what like the GS4 cost. However it’s not only about people affording it, but I’m not going to drop $700 for a Phone I won’t even receive for at least 9 months.

  • Kyle

    Great idea, I love the design, specs, and software idea but I think it’s just hard spending $700 on something I won’t get in my hands until mid next year. If I saw this coming out right now I would Immediately switch to whichever carrier had it. They were just far to ambiguous and need to look for backing from one of the bigger companies sadly.

  • AMbro86

    If I had the money I would have already pledged. Heck I would have even gladly given the $800 for what the Edge was offering. No single piece of tech has made me as excited about the future of mobile computing as the Ubuntu Edge. But hey, I’m a poor college student and don’t even have $300 to spend, let alone $695. But still hope this thing gets funded so it would show that there is support behind this project. And who knows, maybe someday I’ll get my hands on one of these, either through future deals to make it for retail, or off ebay when everyone is selling them because the next big thing came out. Now that’s a “trickle” down economics scenario I can support!

    • V1Dar

      “And who knows, maybe someday I’ll get my hands on one of these, either through future deals to make it for retail, [...]”

      This is a one time offer. You can only buy this phone at the Indiegogo project page. Ubuntu Edge is available exclusively via Indiegogo, and won’t be available to buy at retail.

      For $965 you will get 128 GB storage, 4 GB RAM, the best multi-core processor available when produced, and a GPU that will be able to output full HD to a external screen. This is also a unlocked phone with dual-LTE and GMS, cabale of runing in most networks i US and Europe, and most other countries.

      The device will have MHL-port/USB OTG and one 3.5 mm jack plug. The MHL port can deliver full HD and 7.1 surround sound.

      The Edge will have Sapphire glass, a surface so hard that you need diamonds to scratch it.

      Ubuntu Edge will also have a new type battery (silicon-anode Li-Ion battery), that is expectet to have x5 to x10 better capacity than current batteries.

      “Nanowire battery can hold 10 times the charge of existing lithium-ion battery”

      http://news.stanford.edu/news/2008/january9/nanowire-010908.html

      When docked to a monitor, keybord and mouse, it can also run a full desktop, not just a scaled up phone OS. With thinclient access you can even run MS Office and business application straight from the phone:

      • AMbro86

        I know it’s a one time offer. What I meant by getting my hands on one was that if it is indeed successful I might be able to get a mass produced retail version in the future, when Edge-like hardware could be sold in any retail store.

        Also I’m clearly a fan, and I’ve read up on the specs. I know what it is, and what I’d be getting. And I can tell you that I’m already sold. I would buy this, no questions asked, simply because I believe this is the future of mobile computing.

        So the point of your condescending post was what exactly?