Ubuntu Edge crowd-funding Linux Mobile OS smartphone superphone

At exactly 1:59 a.m. (CST) this early Thursday morning, Canonical’s attempt to raise US$32 million directly from end-users via a crowd-funding campaign for its Ubuntu Edge smartphone on Indiegogo came to an unsuccessful end.

The money was to have been used to build what has been dubbed a “superphone” that would have been able to run both Android and Ubuntu Mobile OS and also be capable of transforming into an Ubuntu PC. Canonical, the company behind the campaign, is also the commercial entity that sponsors the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

This screen shot shows how much was raised when the campaign ended.
Ubuntu Edge crowd-funding Linux Mobile OS smartphone superphone

So now, what’s next? The first step is the easy one. That is, the money raised will have to be returned to those it came from. What about the phone itself? Will it die with the campaign or is there life after Indiegogo?

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From what Mark Shuttleworth as said, the effort to build this “superphone” will forge ahead. However, the route it takes to get into our hands will obviously be different. The Indiegogo campaign was overly ambitious and missed its target by more than US$19 million. However, it also set the record for the most money raised from a crowd-funding campaign.

There were mistakes made, but organizations, like individuals, learn from their mistakes. This campaign failed largely because the Big Boys in the industry were not interested, and Mark Shuttleworth could not move them to speak with their pocketbook. And this is what I’ve been saying about Mark Shuttleworth (and Canonical). He does not have the clout to line up major players in the field in any meaningful way behind any of his efforts, whether it is Ubuntu for TV or Ubuntu Mobile.

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That’s why all his efforts to make Ubuntu a relevant player in the mobile arena have been an uphill struggle. It has not been easy. But like he told The Guardian, the task “is a challenging proposition. But I wasn’t made for the easy ones.”

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9 Responses

  1. The sad aspect of this potentially new approach and product from HP, is that if the SlateBookX2 mobile device is even reasonably successful in sales, particularly as against the Microsoft Surface tablets, HP will assuredly abandon the product at the behest or strong demand, however you like to phrase it, from Microsoft.

    HP’s record in this type behavior is legendany and disturbing.

    1. Well, considering that Microsoft makes more money from Android than from Windows Mobile, I don’t think Balmer will want to kill the goose that’s bringing in the $$.

  2. If I can get Linux on it with full hardware support (or near enough) including accelerated graphics, then this would be exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’d love to be able to dual boot Android and Linux, or perhaps better yet, run an Android environment on top of Linux (without needing another virtual machine underneath the Dalvik one). I can dream anyway.

    If this ends up not being possible, then some new Bay Trail based hardware or one of the recently announced AMD SoCs might be in my future. At least these x86 based designs are bound to have good Linux hardware support. My AMD C60 based netbook is not terrible, but I’m hoping for a better power/battery usage ratio in the future.

    1. I was disappointed when they abandoned WebOS, but this is a good thing. It would have been better if they had stuck with WebOS and build hardware like this for it.

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