Canonical are seeking to raise $32m through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo in order to launch a handset pre-installed with Ubuntu operating system software.
The amount of money it needs to raise is significantly more than any other crowd-financed project before it. Indiegogo’s current funding record is $1,665,380, which was raised for a scheme to build a Star-Trek style Tricorder medical scanning device.
On Tuesday, the Ubuntu Edge phone had received $3,295,000 worth of pledges but due to the terms of the campaign, they only receive the cash if they attract pledges for the full amount.
Ubuntu Edge Phone
Canonical say that their Ubuntu Edge phone is different from any other smartphone operating system because it can run the same desktop applications as a PC installed with its software.
When the handset is being used as a mobile, then programs look like standard phone apps. But the phone can be docked with a monitor, causing the user interface to change to that of a desktop application. The operating system also supports apps written in the HTML5 web language, although they will run at slower speeds.
Large Price Tag
In order to secure one of the Ubuntu Edge handsets, backers need to commit $600 on day one or $830 on the remaining days of the crowdfunding campaign.
Defending the sum, Canonical’s founder Mark Shuttleworth said that enthusiasts would receive a “Formula 1″ device.
He said The new handsets will have substantially more Ram than a typical high-end phone,”
“I would describe today’s devices as being more useful as a thin client… offloading most of the processing to the cloud. What we’re interested in is the next generation, giving you enough horsepower to actually have the full desktop experience powered by the phone.”
As well as 4GB of RAM, Canonical have also promised 128GB of storage and to make the handset’s 4.5-inch screen from the touch substance sapphire crystal.
The Ubuntu Edge will be made by an Asian manufacturer who already produces mobile handsets but Mr Shuttleworth declined to name which company it was. He did however admit that due to the large Indiegogo funding goal, they were at risk of not receiving any money at all for the project.
“We’re very sanguine we may not hit the green light level,” he said. “But I think the timing for a record attempt like this is very good – there’s a sense the mobile industry has become constrained in its ability to deliver innovation.
“If you’re focusing on very high volume markets there’s a lot of risk to you in introducing a new technology to a device that you want to sell 40 or 50 million units.”
Canonical’s campaign will run until 21 August.
[Image via wired]