Ubuntu announced earlier this year that it was bringing its unique flavor of Linux to smartphones and tablets. At the time, it said that it was working with carriers to bring hardware to the market. Now it’s taking its plea directly to its users with what may be the largest crowdfunding campaign ever.
Ubuntu announced an Indiegogo campaign today for a smartphone that it calls the Ubuntu Edge. The hardware, developed in house at Ubuntu, would be a high end smartphone that the company hopes will “accelerate the adoption of new technologies and drive them down into the mainstream.”
So what does this new technology look like? Here’s a render:
As for the hardware itself, Ubuntu wants to equip the Edge with “the fastest available multi-core processor”, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage and a 4.5-inch 1280×720 display. All these specs will contribute to Ubuntu’s vision of a mobile device that can become a desktop PC by connecting to a monitor. In fact, Ubuntu says that its first smartphone “must have the raw power of a PC.”
The software will prove to be particularly interesting with Ubuntu promising that its smartphone will sport both Ubuntu mobile and Android. It will initially launch the desktop OS through Ubuntu for Android, but they hope to work the desktop OS capibility into Ubuntu mobile shortly after launch.
So, how much will this phone cost you? Ubuntu says the hardware will retail for $830, but is offering it at a discounted $600 for the first 5,000 backers. There are also two other tiers available including an Enterprise 100 bundle that will net your company 100 Edges for $80,000. Unsurprisingly, nobody has backed this tier just yet.
On a final note, Ubuntu says that the Edge will only be available to Indiegogo backers. To up the stakes a bit more, the company also notes that the Edge won’t be made if it doesn’t meet its funding goal. It will instead focus on bringing Ubuntu to “commercially available handsets.”