Ubuntu Edge Breaks Crowdfunding Record, But Ends $19 Million Short of Achieving Its Goal

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The $12.8 million that Ubuntu Edge achieved is the most a crowdfunding campaign has gotten so far, yet despite that, the Ubuntu Edge campaign still finished far from its goal of $32 million, meaning the phone will not be made anymore, or at least not with the money from this campaign, which will be returned to the donors.

The Ubuntu Edge smartphone had some great specs, including a sapphire body, great design (a little too thick though), 4 GB of RAM, and the “best quad-core processor on the market” (in 2014), but I think it also had one major flaw: its 128 GB storage. Why is it a flaw? Because Canonical tried to use put so much storage in the phone to the point where the phone became too expensive ($830 its original price). That’s a price level most people are just not going to care about.

If it was $600, then a lot more people would’ve been interested in it. In fact, when they sold it for that price in the first day, they received a lot of orders, and it seemed to be the sweet spot pricing for that phone. But with 128GB of storage, the phone wouldn’t have been very profitable for them at $600.

That’s why they should’ve just put 32 GB in there, which seems like a very reasonable amount of storage, even when you count the “full Ubuntu OS”, which takes about 8 GB. Most people weren’t going to use it as a full-time PC anyway, but as a phone most of the time. So by making the phone too expensive, Canonical really shot themselves in the foot here, all because they truly believed that it needs 128 GB of storage.

So what’s next for Ubuntu Touch now, the OS of the Ubuntu Edge? First off, it’s not clear yet whether Ubuntu Edge will be made in the future or not, with Canonical’s own money, but at the very least I think Canonical will keep trying to push Ubuntu Touch on phones, so this is probably not the last time we’ll see it. I think it would be great to have another open source mobile OS as the 3rd platform after Android and iOS, to offer more “open” competition.