Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu open source operating system, launched an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign at the end of July, in which it offered tech fans the chance to pre-order the Ubuntu Edge smartphone. The device would run both Ubuntu’s new mobile platform, plus Android, and had cutting-edge specs.
Sadly though, the campaign ended this week and failed to meet its lofty $32 million target, meaning the Ubuntu Edge as we know it will never be made. At £540 before a mid-campaign price drop, the Edge was very expensive, however it was also going to be technically impressive.
The specs listed included a super fast multi-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of memory, a sapphire crystal screen and a next generation battery for high performance. It would even run the desktop version of Ubuntu when plugged into a few accessories, making it a portable PC. A 4.5-inch, 720p screen and an 8-megapixel camera completed the feature list.
The final total was just under $13 million, so it didn’t quite make it to halfway, but it’s still a considerable amount of money, and has seen Canonical’s campaign enter the record books as the most raised in a crowd funding project yet.
So now the Edge is no more, what’s next for Ubuntu Mobile? According to Canonical’s CEO Mark Shuttleworth, networks and manufacturers are interested in producing phones with more modest specifications, which will then be sold at a more reasonable price.
The first customer-ready build of Ubuntu Mobile is expected to be released in October, when it will be sent to networks for testing, after which we should see the first phones running the software in early 2014. Just don’t expect them to be as exciting as the Edge.