When the Ubuntu Edge smartphone hit crowdfunding site Indiegogo with a planned target of $32 million, we called it slightly crazy. The device itself, though innovative, seemed odd. The record-busting funding target was so enormous it looked unreachable. Then the first day of frenzied funding blew our minds. And then, everything kind of deflated, like a badly cooked souffle. Now the deadline is up, despite an $80,000 injection from Bloomberg, and the Ubuntu Edge project has gone unfunded, having raised just $12.6 million of the total $32 million. That’s just 39% funding.
The Edge surpassed the impressive $10 million total of Kickstarter’s first star product, the Pebble smartwatch, but it wasn’t enough. Speaking to the Guardian, Mark Shuttleworth (the founder of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu), noted that the amount raised was a record for crowdfunding, as was the amount by which the project missed the total.
The project isn’t entirely abandoned, and Shuttleworth said there were companies who still wanted to use the novel Linux-based OS of the Edge on their own devices, even if these aren’t the top-end phone the edge would have been.
A statement on the Indiegogo page says, “If we don’t reach our target then we will focus only on commercially available handsets and there will not be an Ubuntu Edge. All contributions will be fully refunded.”