Ubuntu Edge campaign cuts prices, but is it too little, too late?


Last month, we heard about Canonical’s fantastically ambitious plan to crowdsource the funding of a seriously high-end smartphone, the Ubuntu Edge. The Edge would boast specs like 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash, while being capable of dual-booting into either Ubuntu for phones or regular old Android. The plan’s goal is to raise $32 million over the course of a month, but halfway through, Canonical has yet to even hit the $10 million mark. Today, Canonical instituted a major price break on the Edge, but will it be enough to turn around the declining momentum that the campaign’s been seeing?

Initially, the plan was to sell 5000 Edge handsets at $600 a pop to early backers, and then make the rest available at $830 each. Except, when that initial batch sold out, interest sharply dropped off, and hardly any $830 models were being claimed. Then we saw Canonical institute a whole bunch of new tiers, selling batches of the Edge at ever-increasing prices, slowly moving back up to $830. Problem was, again, as prices climbed, interest sank.

Today, Canonical forgets about that $830 business altogether and has announced the new price of the Edge going forward: $695.

If you already paid more than that, you’ll be able to get back the difference (of course, assuming the campaign reaches its goal) at the end. It’s a much more attractive price, sure, but this just means that Canonical needs to sell more total phones to hit its goal.

Ubuntu Edge has also seen its first enterprise sale, with Bloomberg LP committing $80,000 for a set of 115 Edges. While helpful, that’s still a drop in the bucket towards the tens of millions of dollars the campaign still needs to raise in the next two weeks. We’d love to see this idea succeed, but right now, it’s just not looking too good.

Source: Canonical (Indiegogo)

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!