Earlier this year, UK-based software company Canonical began a crowdfunding project to raise money for a very ambitious product. Hoping to raise $32 million, the highest amount ever attempted via crowdfunding, the plan was to produce the first smartphone to run on Ubuntu software.
The Ubuntu Edge would have the fastest processor on the market at the moment, a tougher damage-resistant screen, and the ability to act as a fully functioning computer when connected to a keyboard. Though the Ubuntu Edge did not reach its crowdfunding goals, it did collect $12.8 million, which shattered the previous record to become the most money ever raised by a crowdfunding project. The previous record was held by the Pebble smartwatch, which raised $10.2 million last year.
Though the project sounded tempting to smartphone enthusiasts and Ubuntu fans, there were several drawbacks which sadly killed the smartphone in its cradle. Whilst Canonical hoped for a last-minute surge of funding, the $830 pricetag on the Ubuntu Edge probably did a lot to detract from the smartphone’s attractiveness. Even when the price was eventually dropped to $690, it was not enough to save the crowd funding project.
The plan to release a limited run o 40,000 smartphones at some point in mid-2014 also meant that early buyers might see more affordable and faster smartphones released by major brands before their Ubuntu Edge had even arrived.
Though their daring new idea did not work as planned, Canonical have announced that this is not the end of their quest to see Ubuntu software used in a smartphone.