The Ubuntu Edge broke crowdfunding records today by raising over $3.4 million on Indiegogo is just 24 hours. Launched by Ubuntu creator, Canonical, the Edge uses open-source Ubuntu Touch software combined with Android to bring you the first portable desktop superphone.
Canonical launched their crowdfunding campaign a little after 8:00AM on July 22, 2013. Within 90 minutes the project had already raised more than $250,000. In 4 hours, the campaign had over $830,000 in pledges, hitting the $1 million mark just 30 minutes later. By the end of the first day the campaign had gathered an astonishing $3.4 million in pledges.
The company hopes to raise $32 million by August 21, 2013. Should they succeed, the Ubuntu Edge would break every record in crowdfunding history by a wide margin. But despite it’s early successes, the project still has a long road ahead of it. Reaching an average of $1 million in pledges every day over the course a month will be no easy task and Canonical will need to pull out all the stops to get there.
The Ubuntu Edge plans to include 4G speeds, an embedded NFC chip, and Bluetooth 4.0 technology to start. It’s also designed to work with an MHL connector that would allow users to hook up their phones to a monitor through an HDMI cable. This is similar to how OTG cables connect customized flash drives to Android smartphones. Canonical insists however that the Ubuntu Edge will be much more powerful and give users a far better desktop experience.
The Ubuntu Edge will have 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It also promises to deliver one of the fastest mobile processors available, although the company has held off on announcing an actual model. The phone sports a 4.5 inch screen made from pure sapphire crystal, which is the hardest natural substance after diamond. The device will also feature a dual-LTE chip so you can access 4G while traveling throughout Europe and the United States.
The outer casing for the Ubuntu Edge comes in a dark, charcoal black with a small power button at the top and volume controls on the side. On the rear top corner you’ll find the small camera lens and the Ubuntu logo below it shaded black as well. The phone will incorporate the latest Ubuntu Touch software, which first made an appearance on the highly successful Google Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 mobile devices in the spring.
If successful, the company plans to do an initial production run of 40,000 units. According to Canonical, a smaller production would allow them to focus more on bringing their users cool new features and technologies that they wouldn’t be able deliver otherwise. The project ran a first day promotion allowing around 5000 people to have their own Ubuntu Edge for a $600. You can secure your own Ubuntu Edge today for $830, but you’ll have to wait until May 2014 before it’s actually delivered to your doorstep.
This high end price might be a little hard to swallow for the mobile market. $830 will get you a decent laptop nowadays and Canonical will have its hands full trying to sell the idea of an open source mobile operating system. But still, the success of the Nexus 4 and the project’s first day of crowdfunding are hard to ignore. Only time will tell what’s in store for the Ubuntu Edge.
So what do you think? Will the Ubuntu Edge reach its $32 million goal? Would you buy this smartphone?