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Canonical Launch $32 Million Ubuntu Phone Crowdfunding Campaign

Canonical are hoping to kickstart the super-phone race with an audacious $32 million crowd-funding campaign.

Ubuntu’s commercial sponsor are aiming to raise funds for the development and manufacture of a new, Ubuntu-branded mobile called Ubuntu Edge over the next 30 days.

Ubuntu Edge will be more than ‘just’ a smartphone – it’ll be a ‘super-phone‘, powerful enough to double-up as a traditional PC when attached to an external monitor. This, Canonical say, will make it ’the world’s first truly converged’ device.

But first $32 million needs to be raised over the next 30 days. If this goal is met Ubuntu Edge handsets will be produced in a limited production run of 40,000 and made available in May 2014.

Ubuntu Edge Specifications

Ubuntu Edge won’t be any ol’ run-of-the-mill mobile. Canonical are crafting a communication device that’s couture; they want to out-Apple Apple.

The tentative specifications for it features high-end components, some rarely used in consumer mobiles.

  • ‘Multi-core CPU’
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB SSD
  • 4.5″ Sapphire Crystal screen (1280×720 HD resolution)
  • Dual cameras (8mp rear, 2mp front)
  • MHL connector (supporting HDMI)
  • Long-life silicon anode battery
  • Dual-LTE, NFC, Dual-band WiFi & Bluetooth 4
  • GPS, Barometer, Compass, Proximity Sensor, Gyro, etc

OS wise Ubuntu Edge, perhaps most surprisingly, will dual-boot Ubuntu Touch and Android. When docked it will be able to power a full Ubuntu desktop experience on an external monitor.

Biggest Campaign Ever

‘[We Need to] smash every record in crowdfunding history’ – Mark Shuttleworth

The project, live on IndieGoGo, is the single-largest crowd-funding campaign in history.

The Pebble smartwatch – to date the most successful fund raiser – got over $10 million on Kickstarter from 68,929 backers, most of which were pledges over $100. Canonical need 40,000 backers to “pre-buy” a handset for $810 to meet their goal.

Even if the campaign fails to reach its goal it could still prove helpful by demonstrating demand. If this high enough it could buoy the interest of more cautious telecom carriers and handset makers.

Mark Shuttleworth concludes that inorder to make their converged future of mobile happen they’ll need to  “…smash every record in crowdfunding history.

“But if there are enough enthusiasts who want the ultimate in performance, storage, screen, battery and bandwidth, Ubuntu Edge will be the catalyst for awesome innovation, and a taste of the future of the phone.”

Will you be donating?

Ubuntu Edge on IndieGoGo