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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Ubuntu Edge Fails to Meet $32M Crowdfunding Goal

ubuntu-edgeCanonical, the company known for making an open-sourced operating system, set out to achieve an ambitious goal of raising $32 million to build a new smartphone concept it was calling the Ubuntu Edge.

Ubuntu raised the most money ever from crowdsource funding, $12.8 million, but fell way short of its goal.

As reported by techcrunch.com:

“Trying to raise $32 million via crowdfunding always looked overly ambitious. And indeed it has proved to be so. Canonical’s Ubuntu Edge Indiegogo campaign to build a smartphone designed for converged computing has fallen considerably short of its target, ending with the fixed-funding project receiving nothing at all — which, when you’ve got pledges worth around $12 million, has got to hurt. The campaign ran from July 22 to August 21.”

The Ubuntu edge was supposed to be a revolutionary device that broke the status quo of today’s smartphones. It would be unique because the device would be designed to not only be a mobile phone, but could be used as a desktop computer as well. Although they may not have hit their mark, Canonical’s CEO Mark Shuttleworth is not deterred, and does not view the venture as a complete failure.

According to the guardian.com:

“Shuttleworth insisted that despite the failure, carriers and handset makers are definitely interested in building handsets which will run the mobile Linux - but that they will not be the top-end ‘superphones’ which the Edge project hoped to produce.

“Looking ahead, Shuttleworth was dismissive of the Firefox OS and Android, and said that Ubuntu Mobile would be ideal for ‘the 25 percent of people who buy a smartphone but only use it as a phone’ – and that the idea of the Ubuntu Edge, of a smartphone that would be powerful enough to also work as a PC, would eventually win people over.”

Shuttleworth is right that there’s a need for an alternative to iOS and Android, but Ubuntu may have a long way to go to become that third platform. While he may be dismissive of the other companies, they all have an ecosystem with other products that Ubuntu doesn’t have yet. So while his company might be quite innovative, convincing  consumers will be quite a challenge.

 

 

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