The last time we checked up on Canonical’s Ubuntu Edge smartphone project, we were a little worried. At that point, there were only a couple of weeks left and the project had only reached about $8 million. As impressive as that was, that was still a long way to go from the initial funding goal of $32 million. Two weeks later, and things turned out just as we feared — the Ubuntu Edge failed to meet its funding goal on IndieGogo.
The project only attracted about $12 million at the end of it all, and while those are still record-breaking numbers for crowd-funded projects, it doesn’t really mean anything if it wasn’t fulfilled. Except, to Canonical, it does.
Although the company wasn’t able to realize their dream of getting a dual-booting smartphone with Ubuntu OS and Android built, Canonical says the campaign helped show potential hardware and carrier partners that there is a real interest in such a product. $12 million worth of interest, in fact. They also said the campaign helped put an even bigger spotlight on Ubuntu OS, giving the OS some much needed exposure as it tries to break into one of the most competitive markets in all of technology.
Indeed, the campaign did that much, but it really makes us sad to see that it couldn’t become a reality. It’ll be interesting to see where Canonical will go from here, but I’m willing to bet we haven’t heard the last of them in the mobile space.