Ubuntu Edge phone misses funding target by nearly $20m

The open-source mobile had aimed for the stars with a goal of $32m, but ended up with $12.8m.

The Ubuntu Edge has failed to hit its ambitious crowdfunding target by a whopping $19m. The open-source mobile had aimed for the stars with a goal of $32m, but fell far short, ending up with $12.8m.

The phone won't now be produced and all funds will be returned to contributors, within five working days.

It's still the most money ever pledged on Indiegogo, the crowdfunding site used for the campaign, and it tops Kickstarter's record of $10.3m for the Pebble smart watch .

The Edge was created by British company Canonical, which is behind the Ubuntu operating system. Its goal with the Edge was to make Ubuntu on phones a reality -- and it may still achieve that, with huge amounts of publicity generated for the project and a demonstrated market of people willing to pay.

"While we passionately wanted to build the Edge to showcase Ubuntu on phones, the support and attention it received will still be a huge boost as other Ubuntu phones start to arrive in 2014," Canonical boss Mark Shuttleworth wrote in a post on Indiegogo. "Thousands of you clearly want to own an Ubuntu phone and believe in our vision of convergence, and rest assured you won’t have much longer to wait.

"All of the support and publicity has continued to drive our discussions with some major manufacturers, and we have many of the world's biggest mobile networks already signed up to the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group. They'll have been watching this global discussion of Ubuntu and the need for innovation very closely indeed. Watch this space!"

Ubuntu is a flavour of the open-source Linux software, which is free to use. Canonical's business is based on helping companies use Ubuntu.

My colleague Rich went hands-on with the Edge recently and very much liked what he saw. It was a sturdy handset with classy minimalist stylings, but the software is the real draw, and that's what we hope to see more of in future phones. It lets you plug your phone into a monitor, so when you get to work you carry on using the same software, just scaled up to a higher resolution.

Are you bummed the Edge didn't make it? Who would you ideally want to make an Ubuntu phone? Or is the whole thing just a pipedream? Make a pledge in the comments, or on our crowdsourced Facebook page.

 

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