The Ubuntu Edge was a highly ambitious smartphone with an equally ambitious Indiegogo campaign. Canonical hoped to raise $32 million in a month to fund the creation of what it saw as the future of smartphones, but it only managed to rake in a record breaking $12 million instead. With that in mind, where does Canonical go from here?
In an update on the Indiegogo page, Canonical boss Mark Shuttleworth addresses the failure of his company's fundraising campaign with nothing but positivity. He thanks the backers and the Ubuntu community who helped raise almost $13 million. Even though the Edge won't be funded, he feels the amount raised has immeasurably helped the Ubuntu brand.
Most importantly, 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.
All of the support and publicity has continued to drive our discussions with some major manufacturers, and we have many of the world’s biggest mobile networks already signed up to the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group. They’ll have been watching this global discussion of Ubuntu and the need for innovation very closely indeed. Watch this space!
Phone manufacturers can't exactly scoff at almost $13 million raised and almost 20,000 backers as they formulate their Ubuntu phone hardware plans. They see that people want a smartphone that's leagues above and beyond what's currently offered, and those manufacturers may just deliver. That's at least what Shuttleworth and the folks at Ubuntu hope happens.
On a final note, you may remember that Shuttleworth said a month ago that they would use crowdfunding again if the Edge was successful. Even though this round was unsuccessful, he says that Ubuntu may "take everything [it] learned from this campaign - achievements and mistakes - and try it all over again." For now, however, Ubuntu fans will have to settle for whatever traditional OEMs come up with for Ubuntu smartphones.