Canonical’s Plan After The Crowd-Funding Project Did Not Work Out

Posted Aug 22, 2013

Canonical attempted to raise $32 million in funding for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone.  The Ubuntu Edge would have been able to dual-boot Ubuntu and Android.  Canonical hit under half their $32 million goal.  The company hit around $12.8 million from 27,633 backers.

That money will be returned to the donators and Indiegogo will not be taking their usual cut from failed projects.

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said that this campaign has opened up interest by carriers and handset makers to build handsets that runs on Ubuntu.  However, these phones won’t be as high-end as the Ubuntu Edge for the time being.

The Edge would have 128GB storage that runs on Android and Ubuntu Mobile.

Shuttleworth said that Ubuntu Mobile would be ideal for the “25% of people who buy a smartphone, but only use it as a phone” in an interview with The Guardian.  “They don’t buy apps or content. They’re expensive to service, because they’ve got these smartphones, but they don’t generate data revenues or much content revenue.”

The only large company to put money into this project was Bloomberg.  Bloomberg put $80,000 towards one of the “Enterprise” slots and they would have gained 115 phones.  A few other companies put $7,000 towards the “Enterprise Starter” slots to gain 10 phones.

“We have 12 carriers who say they want Ubuntu,” added Shuttleworth.  However “they haven’t said that they will ship Ubuntu phones, no.”

[Also see: Canonical on Indiegogo]