Ubuntu Edge Misses £20.8m Funding Target By Two Thirds

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Canonical takes positives from record breaking crowdfunding campaign

The Ubuntu Edge smartphone has failed to meet its $32 million (£20.8m) funding target, but Canoncial says the campaign has strengthened the Ubuntu Mobile movement and has promised handsets running the open source mobile operating system will emerge in the near future.

Canonical raised $12,809,906 (£8,228,625) making it the world’s biggest ever fixed crowdfunding campaign, with almost 20,000 people contributing to the project, while Bloomberg gave $80,000 (£51,000) and several smaller businesses pledged $7,000 (£4,500) each.

“Let’s not lose sight of what an achievement that is,” said CEO Mark Shuttleworth, who thanked everyone that pledged and promised they would be refunded within five working days.

Ubuntu Edge

Ubuntu Edge (2)He also praised the Ubuntu community for spreading the word about the campaign and promised to contact the biggest referrers personally.

“Our bold campaign to build a visionary new device ultimately fell short, but we can take away so many positives,” he said. “Close to 20,000 people believed in our vision enough to contribute hundreds of dollars for a phone months in advance, just to help make it happen.

“The big winner from this campaign is Ubuntu. 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. 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.”

The Ubuntu Edge was intended as a high spec smartphone that would demonstrate the capabilities of the Ubuntu Mobile platform while also highlighting the demand for such a device. However Shuttleworth says the support and publicity generated by the project had advanced discussions with manufacturers, while a number of the world’s biggest mobile networks have signed up to the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group.

Caonical had repeatedly stressed that the Ubuntu Edge would not be made if it missed its “deliberately ambitious” funding goal.

Ubuntu Mobile is just one of a number of open source mobile operating systems to emerge in the last few years, with Sailfish, Tizen and Firefox OS all looking to position themselves as genuine alternatives to iOS and Android.

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