8/22/2013 1:20:45 PM
Canonical fails to meet funding target for Ubuntu Edge
Canonical has failed to raise enough money for its crowdfunded Ubuntu Edge smartphone by almost $20m.
The manufacturer had set itself a $32m target to pay for the project, with the high end smartphone running its Linux-based operating system. The Ubuntu Edge was able to work as a desktop computer when the handset was plugged into a larger screen.However, donations on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo only reached $12.8m by the time it hit its deadline of midnight last night. All of the money raised will be returned to its backers.
Despite the setback, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth said the failure will not dissuade the company's mobile ambitions. He told The Guardian that there is demand for mobile Linux handsets, although not those with the same specs as the Ubuntu Edge. He said: 'There is an effective duopoly in mobile between Android and Apple. BlackBerry and Nokia are both struggling. Then there's the three mobile Linux OSs - Firefox OS, Tizen and Ubuntu Mobile. The impression we have from conversations with manufacturers is that they are open to an alternative to Android. And end-users don't seem emotionally attached to Android. There's no network effect from using Android like there was with Windows in the 1990s, where if some businesses starting using Windows then others had to follow. It's not like that on mobile. They all interoperate. Every Ubuntu device would be additive to the whole ecosystem of devices.'
He also argued the current price for smartphones was too high. He said: 'If you look at something like [Motorola's] MotoX, and the next-generation devices out there, it seems that there's quite heavy loading on the cost of devices just so it can have a brand on it. We're still seeing [profit] margins in the mobile hardware industry that we certainly don't see in the PC industry - it seems to just go on the maintenance of the brand and distribution. It isn't as efficient as the distribution that we see in the PC industry.'
Author: Graeme Neill