Industry backing and lower component prices led to Ubuntu Edge reduction, but project risks failure
Canonical has cut the minimum pledge required for an Ubuntu Edge smartphone to $695 thanks to “major industry backing” and lower projected manufacturing costs, but still faces a huge task to raise the required £20.5 million necessary to get the project up and running.
Yesterday, Bloomberg because the first major corporate backer of the Ubuntu Edge, signing up for one of the $80,000 enterprise bundles and Canonical believes more businesses are willing to follow suit. To encourage them to sign up, the number of smartphones included in the package has been increased from 100 to 115.
Canonical also says the reaction to the crowdsourced funding campaign has allowed it to contact component suppliers who are keen to see the Ubuntu Edge achieve its funding goal and have agreed to supply materials for less money.
Ubuntu Edge funding
“The huge support the Ubuntu Edge has been receiving from all corners of the world has really sent a message to the mobile industry – and that message has been received loud and clear,” said Canonical. “This is one of the key benefits of keeping some of the core specifications open: as a result of these negotiations, we can now produce the same state-of-the-art device for less than we originally estimated.”
Anyone who has paid more than $695 will be offered a refund of the difference at the end of the campaign, but at the time of writing, just $9,168,254 had been pledged with only 13 days remaining. Canonical is adamant that if the ambitious funding target is not reached, the smartphone will not be made.
“There will be no further price reductions, and we must reiterate that the Ubuntu Edge is exclusive to Indiegogo,” it said. “It will not be available to buy anywhere outside of this campaign, even at launch.”
The company told TechWeekEurope the target was deliberately ambitious to show other manufacturers the demand for Ubuntu mobile and what was possible with the operating system. However it is confident that even if it doesn’t raise the money, it will have generated enough publicity for other manufacturers to build handsets using the platform.
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