Ubuntu Edge smartphone is dead, but lower-end variants still in the cards

By on August 22, 2013, 1:00 PM
ubuntu, linux, smartphone, mark shuttleworth, ubuntu edge

Canonical’s Indiegogo campaign to fund the development of an Ubuntu-based smartphone has come to a close and, as expected, it fell short of its ambitious goal -- $19 million short to be precise. But the company isn’t chalking this up as a failure; if anything, the fact that the $12.8 million raised for the Ubuntu Edge also made it the largest crowdfunding campaign ever serves as an indication that there’s a market for such a device.

CEO Mark Shuttleworth was hopeful up to the end that a handset maker or industry player would shell out the outstanding funds and kickstart the program. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, and although he claims carriers and handset makers are definitely interested in building Ubuntu handsets, most likely they will not be the top-end "superphones" that the Edge was aiming to be. Shuttleworth also believes that while the Edge’s promise of a phone that can double as a desktop has gone unfulfilled eventually that’s where the market is going.

As a refresher, the handset consisted of a single piece of textured metal with a 4.5-inch screen under a piece of sapphire crystal. It would have operated at 1,280 x 720 with a focus on color accuracy and dynamic range over pure pixel density. Under the hood were 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, dual-LTE receivers, dual cameras, a current generation high-end mobile processor and a range of sensors and connectivity options.

Most notably, the Edge promised the ability to dual-boot Ubuntu and Android, share the Unity interface with Ubuntu on desktops and tablets, and connect to a monitor and keyboard for desktop-like use.

Since the campaign failed to reach its $32 million funding goal, all the money will be returned to backers, and Indiegogo has said it won’t be charging its usual fee for missing a funding goal.




User Comments: 10

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1 person liked this | RenGood08 RenGood08 said:

That kind of stinks. I kinda wanted to see where this would go.

1 person liked this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

This whole enterprise was stinking from day one. With today's over-abundance of suppliers of phone parts, the budget for delivering such phone to the market should have never reached that kind of estimate. From the amount they were seeking, I suspect half of it would be spent on top execs flying on their private jets and gloating about a good finance campaign they pulled.

Guest said:

It is very clearly any of new OS phone won't success. It's just too hard to enter the market with iOS and Android. Take a look at the Blackberry and Windows Phone 8. They are better and have more finance than Ubuntu Edge does, but they are very suggles to win over iOS and Android.

Teko03 said:

It is very clearly any of new OS phone won't success. It's just too hard to enter the market with iOS and Android. Take a look at the Blackberry and Windows Phone 8. They are better and have more finance than Ubuntu Edge does, but they are very suggles to win over iOS and Android.

+1, Blackberry is on it's death bed, Microsoft's Windows Phone OS will survive and continue to slowly increase in market share with the loads of money Microsoft has at its disposal.

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

That kind of stinks. I kinda wanted to see where this would go.

If it had a Full HD screen I would be interested. But yeah, I would have liked to see this on the market.

misor misor said:

It is very clearly any of new OS phone won't success. It's just too hard to enter the market with iOS and Android. Take a look at the Blackberry and Windows Phone 8. They are better and have more finance than Ubuntu Edge does, but they are very suggles to win over iOS and Android.

+1, Blackberry is on it's death bed, Microsoft's Windows Phone OS will survive and continue to slowly increase in market share with the loads of money Microsoft has at its disposal.

agree with you there, mate.

blackberry should ally now with Microsoft to create 'windows phone 8.1 black' (with customized blackberry ui and built-in apps) or join the android party if it pleases the company.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

It is very clearly any of new OS phone won't success. It's just too hard to enter the market with iOS and Android. Take a look at the Blackberry and Windows Phone 8. They are better and have more finance than Ubuntu Edge does, but they are very suggles to win over iOS and Android.

+1, Blackberry is on it's death bed, Microsoft's Windows Phone OS will survive and continue to slowly increase in market share with the loads of money Microsoft has at its disposal.

agree with you there, mate.

blackberry should ally now with Microsoft to create 'windows phone 8.1 black' (with customized blackberry ui and built-in apps) or join the android party if it pleases the company.

That's as likely to happen as Google & Apple becoming partners then releasing an OS called 'AndroIOS'

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I'm disappointed this project was stillborn. I'm an admirer of Mark Shuttleworth, he is after all a South African like me.

1 person liked this | misor misor said:

That's as likely to happen as Google & Apple becoming partners then releasing an OS called 'AndroIOS'

how about ANDiOS? (or ADiOS for that matter ? )

there is no certainty in life just like the large Bank of England which collapsed after a trader did something wrong.

android is here to stay on top, at least in the foreseeable future; apple will continue to 'lead' in the high-end segment.

the question is what is blackberry's future? also, what will happen to Microsoft's windows phone OS?

something's gotta give in the mobile world's 'eat or be eaten' environment.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

how about ANDiOS? (or ADiOS for that matter ? )

there is no certainty in life just like the large Bank of England which collapsed after a trader did something wrong.

android is here to stay on top, at least in the foreseeable future; apple will continue to 'lead' in the high-end segment.

the question is what is blackberry's future? also, what will happen to Microsoft's windows phone OS?

something's gotta give in the mobile world's 'eat or be eaten' environment.

Well said. What I see happening is that Android (for us normal folk & the masses) & Apple (for the idle rich & wannabe's) will remain at the top for some time yet and competition to each other, Blackberry will be quietly bought out by some entity and disappear (it'll be a pity).

As for MS... the joker in the pack... I dunno but I wouldn't ever write them off.

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