With $12.8M raised, Ubuntu Edge campaign fails, but it’s not all in vain

August 22, 2013
The Indiegogo campaign for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone failed to raise its goal of $32 million. While the project won’t go ahead, the campaign succeeded in raising public awareness of Ubuntu Phone.

    ubuntu edge

    Canonical’s adventure in crowdfunding has come to its predictable conclusion. With $12,809,906 raised in 30 days, the Indiegogo campaign to fund the Ubuntu Edge smartphone broke records and generated countless headlines in tech media, but ultimately that was not enough to make the Edge a reality.

    Because Canonical opted for a fixed funding campaign, it won’t get to keep the money it raised and all backers will be refunded their contributions.

    According to an update from Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, almost 20,000 people have contributed to the campaign with hundreds of dollars each, along with three businesses that opted for the $7000 Enterprise Starter Kit perk and one massive contribution from Bloomberg LP, which contributed $80,000.

    Ubuntu Edge broke the record for the largest crowdfunded sum, which was previously held by the Pebble smartwatch Kickstarter project. Still, Pebble remains that largest successful campaign ever.

    It’s safe to say that the Ubuntu Edge campaign was very successful from the perspective of raising awareness about Canonical’s Ubuntu Phone project. The fact that several thousand people were ready to pay $700 or more for a phone that doesn’t even exist is very encouraging from Canonical’s plans to bring to market by 2014 the first devices running Ubuntu Phone, a mobile-optimized version of Linux.

    What about Ubuntu Edge? The dual-booting (Android + Ubuntu Phone) device raised the pulse of quite a few technology fans. Will it ever make it to market? Mark Shuttleworth hinted that a new campaign is possible:

    “Who knows, perhaps one day we’ll take everything we’ve learned from this campaign — achievements and mistakes — and try it all over again.”

    And there’s always the possibility that Edge will be founded by a corporate backer or through venture capital.


    • http://www.techxeroblog.com/ TechXero

      Yep, exactly as i predicted. Was a nice effort though. Too far fetched i thought from beginning. But it could still become a reality in like 2020…

      • MasterMuffin

        It could easily be reality at the end of 2014 or 2015

        • Luka Mlinar

          I don’t think so. They asked for way to much.

          • MasterMuffin

            I mean the phone, not the funding goal :)

            • DieElop

              It’s quite doable, by mid 2014 we’ll see something similar or even better, would loved to have seen the Ubuntu Edge happen though but I feel they deliberately wanted the campaign to fail to garner interest in the project to test the market reaction. Android itself will eventually evolve into a 64 bit OS.

      • madjr

        might happen sooner.

        “Snapdragon 800 phone with 4GB RAM for half the price of Samsung Galaxy S4 might come by end of year”:


    • Piyush

      Where are those people that were boasting about specs they need , from this i get is that most people don’t care about specs they need something new.

      • DieElop

        Moronic assumption.

        • Piyush

          maybe you are out of reality

      • DieElop

        It was never about specs, it was a new concept to push the boundary of handheld technology even further to the realms of post PC. With that attitude, ”Ooo…..dual cores enough, 16GB is enough, Android is enough, waaaaahhh, another OS and I hate change” technology will never move forward. You may as well not come onto this site then.

        • Piyush

          how new concept , can you explain. its just a specs upgrade.

          • David

            Ubuntu mobile, desktop OS and Android OS on one smartphone.

            • Piyush

              how is that new thats just three os in one you just have to switch , windows can do that virtual machine.

            • David

              It’s new because Ubuntu mobile OS is not on any device. And Windows Phone/Windows 8 cannot utilise other mobile operating systems.

            • Piyush

              You are wrong , ever heard of “VMware”. You will see that its nothing new.

    • najiy91

      i do not understand why many kickstart project failed.they have sponsors.they have the effort.why many of them failed especially the nfc ring.can someone help to answer?

      • Lisandro O Oocks

        I don’t think NFC ring failed. Take a marketing or economics class if you wanna know why products fail.

        • najiy91

          some short answer?

          • David

            Kickstarters fail because they do not reach their funding goal.

            • najiy91

              thanks david.

            • Lisandro O Oocks

              But why?
              Because they don’t do enough or accurate marketing (product development, advertising, target market, etc), or in Ubuntu Edge’s case they ignore marketing to some point and the economics law of supply and demand. They couldn’t promised diamonds on the phone itself, but not many ppl pay 700+ for a phone with a relatively unknown software when there are good cheaper alternatives, with more mature phone OS.

    • billnozick

      The big problem was actually the source site. By going to Indiegogo consumers had to jump on not one, but two unstable bandwagons–afterall there haven’t been too many big news story projects from Indiegogo. Why not use Kickstarter? It’s been in the news a lot lately, and should have been the go to site; I think a lot more hype could have been generated, given that it was on Kickstarter is all. What do you think?

      • xit8

        I think because Indiegogo made you actually put money down was a drawback. Many people don’t have $700 or so dollars to spend on the spot. Kickstarter would have been better. More known and people can back the project and have time to save up funds if they don’t have them before the end of the campaign.

    • Lisandro O Oocks

      They should’ve called HTC and ask for a quote. HTC would likely do it at a loss like they did the HTC first.