Canonical’s crowdfunding project for Ubuntu Edge did not reach its $32-million target. The privately held computer software company launched it through Indiegogo, an international crowdfunding site where companies and individuals can pledge financial support for projects in exchange for freebies, discounts and perks. The campaign looked promising as it received around $3.4 million on its first day. But donations had come to a slow progress. The crowdfunding ran for a month and ended in August 21. Indiegogo’s site currently shows that Canonical was only able to raise $12,809,906.
Financial critics were quick to say that Canonical’s goal was too ambitious. On the project page, Canonical noted, “We’ve set such a high crowdfunding target for good reason. Between design, certification, manufacture, the costs of building a new phone are huge – but the more we produce, the lower the final cost of each handset. Setting such an ambitious target means a more competitive price per device.” The statement further explained that Canonical have already scaled down the mobile phone design, taking out parts that may not be efficient for the multi-million production. They also found a solution in adding perks to the merchandise. Canonical also posted that if the target funding is not met, the company will not be pursuing production and that all the money collected will be returned to the donors.
The pledge tiers have had changes during its crowdfunding. The original scheme offered the price of $600 for the first 5,000 backer. Others who don’t avail of this will have to pay $830 upon the phone’s market launch. Added to that were tiers of $625, $675 and $725 to boost contributions. During the last days of the campaign, a $695 tier was posted. But despite the revisions, Canonical’s efforts were in vain.
The Edge was going to be the flagship phone from Canonical and Ubuntu. The makers promised that a high-end phone and an Ubuntu-powered desktop will be combined in a single piece of equipment. Ubuntu’s website called the potential device a ‘superphone’. The Edge will be running in a single platform as a phone and a computer, and it may even be operated through a smart TV unit. The phone’s specifications listed a multi-core CPU with a 4GB of RAM and 128GB storage, with a dual boot for Ubuntu and Android OS. But tech consumers will not be seeing this technology for now as Canonical founder, Mark Shuttleworth, have confirmed that it’s the end of the road for the Ubuntu Edge.