Ubuntu Edge will not be — ambitious smartphone project misses funding goal on IndieGoGo



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.

Canonical Ubuntu Edge front back title

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.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Well that’s hardly surprising.

  2. Sad but not surprising. Most people buy their phones on contract. To me, this option was not financially appealing. If it ever makes it to my cellphone provider (Rogers), I’ll get it in a heartbeat.

    1. Mr Rodgers has a cell phone service?

      1. No I’m pretty sure Mr Rogers is still dead…

  3. many people who wanted this simply are already invested in a phone. I just straight up didn’t have the money, even though this phone is pretty much everything I want

    1. oh we had the money. we just needed to pay rent. a phone isn’t worth being homeless for

  4. I hope this takes them back to work on the Ubuntu for Android, that is the really the most appealing feature the Edge offered and the only reason I was interested.

    1. I absolutely agree. From my experience with dual boots on PC (and even on tablets, when I had Nook Color with both B&N bastardized Android and pure Froyo), at the end one OS always wins. But having Android for main OS, and Ubuntu for when I dock the phone with peripherals would be a dream come true.

  5. Ubuntu Edge will be released. They said even if they miss the goal, they’ll fund it out of their pocket.

    1. Source? I remember reading this somewhere… but can’t remember where.

      1. I actually remember reading that too.

      2. NVM:

        What if you fail to reach the funding target?

        We appreciate every bit of support we receive during the 30 days, and every backer will be welcomed into the Ubuntu community. If we don’t reach our target then we will focus only on commercially available handsets and there will not be an Ubuntu Edge. All contributions will be fully refunded.


  6. Not even $32 million would have built the phone they wanted.

  7. Smack!!! Should’ve had a V8!

  8. Do the donaters get their money back, or does it go to Canonical anyway?

    1. Yes, everyone will get refunded according to the donation page.

  9. Why did they only give it one month to hit the 32 million? Seems like they set it up for failure.

    1. I am beginning to think that they set it so high that it wouldn’t make it. Possibly it was meant to be a marketing ploy to show manufacturers and carriers that there is a demand. They want to drum up a lot of business.

  10. lower the donation amount to $200 and they would have raised twice as much as they hoped for.

    1. And they would’ve been selling the phone well below cost. Cell phones ain’t cheap. The Ubuntu Edge was unlocked and the price was fairly competitive compared to high end smartphones. It was less than both the iPhone 5 and the GS4 (once it lowered its price to $695). You do know that your HTC One/GS4/G2, etc don’t actually cost $200, right? It’s somewhat of a mortgage system by your carrier.

      1. Why not price it similarly to the Nexus 4? $299 contract free. That seems like a reasonable price.

        1. Well this certainly isn’t as cheap to make as the N4: Sapphire glass, 128GB vs 8GB, the processor will probably be around the same price the S4 Pro was then, plus they’re only buying 40,000 components from each manufacturer (It’s probably like Sam’s where the more you buy, the less you’re really paying). Samsung/HTC/Apple are buying in astronomical quantities and thus their phones do not cost as much per capita. Plus, their companies are WAY larger than Canonical.

      2. Most mobile phone DON’T cost anywhere CLOSE to 600 to make. They could still make a profit but they’d still need to charge more than 200. I’d say about 300 would be good.

  11. I feel somewhat used.

    This is a company that clearly could just step up and make it themselves and ensure that those 12Million dollars of early backers get devices and can get it early.

    They really should have done it as a pre-order rather than a crowdfunding campaign.

    1. Shuttleworth could. Canonical could not. Their revenue was only 10 million last year. Remember they make a free OS…and live on support contracts.

  12. Hey guys, guess what? THEY GET TO KEEP ALL OF THE MONEY! :(

    1. No they don’t you are a dork.. stop talking about things you do not understand LOL on their funding page it says they signed up for “Fixed Funding”. According to Terms of use:

      I challenge your moronic statement (in all caps no less).. Below is my evidence you are an idiot.. prove me wrong :D

      “”If your campaign is set up as Flexible Funding, you will be able to keep the funds you raise, even if you don’t meet your goal. If your campaign is set up as Fixed Funding, all contributions will be returned to your funders if you do not meet your goal.”

      1. I wonder which genius modded you down? Lol

  13. Last time I checked, $12M does not equal a lot of interest. That’s barely any really.

    1. 1/3 of the something wanted the phone. Now all we have to do is find out how much is something of the population. LoL!!

  14. No! The smartphone of my dreams! I hope some other company with enough capital picks this up. Could have been the ultimate portable device to date.

  15. good… app store would have been abysmal.

  16. 32 million is insane

  17. Guess you’re not ready for that yet.

    But you’re kids are gonna love it!

    1. Thanks Marty!

  18. Even if it was funded I am not sure 32 million would have been enough. Considering that Microsoft lost 900 million on Surface RT, well I sincerely doubt they’d have been able to pull it off at all.

    1. Maybe 32 Million is a getting-started price. Almost like a head start, instead of just starting from rock bottom.

  19. like Sara implied I am in shock that a single mom can make $5515 in 4 weeks on the internet. have you read this page w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

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