Update, July 23 11:30 a.m.
Apparently the Ubuntu community is nuts about this idea. Within just under eight hours of the Indiegogo campaign launch some $2 million in donations to the project have flooded in, making it what’s said to be the fastest and thus perhaps most successful crowd funding effort ever seen. The fund is now fast approaching its allotted funding target and may even achieve it inside the first day.
Canonical promises it’s not going to make a big, permanent move into the phone market, but the British company behind Ubuntu Linux wants to try to get its Edge smartphone produced so it’s available to its loyal followers. So it’s attempting a
£21.5 million ($32 million) Indiegogo campaign to source enough cash to sell 40,000 handsets. This is said to be the biggest crowdfunding campaign ever.
The phone itself is a bit of an oddity: It’ll dual-boot into Android or Ubuntu’s Touch OS, and will have 4G, NFC, and Bluetooth as well as a direct HDMI feed for high-quality output so you can use it as if it were a desktop Ubuntu computer. There’s also word of a fast processor, at least 4GB of RAM, and 128 GB of onboard storage beneath a 4.5-inch 720p screen that will be protected with sapphire (the super-hard industrial version of the precious crystal that Apple uses to protect camera lenses on the iPhone 5).
To buy one you’ll have to pledge about $600 now, and $830 later in the Indiegogo campaign, and then wait until May 2014. That’s instantly going to be a problem for many a smartphone fan. By 2014, smartphone design will have moved so far into the future that the Edge may risk seeming out of date.