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Canonical, the U.K. software company behind Ubuntu, wants to make the Ubuntu Edge smartphone — and it’s asking you for help.
If Canonical’s campaign succeeds, it would shatter the current crowdfunding record held by the Pebble Smartwatch, which raised more than $10 million on Kickstarter last year. If it fails, Canonical won’t make the phone.
The crowd is responding positively to the ambitious campaign, pledging more than $2.3 million to the project in a matter of hours. At the time of writing, 3,600 people have snagged the early bird pre-order for $600. That introductory price will expire after 24 hours — or, more likely, when 5,000 have been claimed — after which contributors will have to plunk down $830 to reserve an Ubuntu Edge of their own.
According to Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, the Edge will not be sold in stores; it will be made exclusively for backers of the crowdfunding campaign. Although “if it works well, we might even do it annually, just to keep ahead of the curve,” he added.
By making thousands of phones, not millions, Canonical can utilize next-generation technology that’s not yet available for mass production. Shuttleworth compared the Edge to a Formula 1 car in a world of sedans.
The phone's specs (subject to change) are seriously impressive. It can run both Ubuntu mobile OS (Linux) and Android, so current Android users won’t have to scrap their entire app collection, and it rivals the computing power of modern PCs.
Here's the full list of specs:
The Ubuntu Edge is already the most-funded campaign ever on Indiegogo. But even with a month left, there’s a long way to go before Canonical hits the $32 million mark. Stay tuned to Crowdsourcing.org for updates, and check out the campaign video below to see what this “superphone” is all about.