Canonical misses smartphone crowdfunding goal by $19 million

The company still intends to ship Ubuntu-based smartphones next year

Canonical raised only US$12.8 million of the $32 million it wanted for the production of the Ubuntu-based Edge smartphone.

Close to 20,000 people backed the project, which ran from July 22 to Aug. 21, but that wasn't enough to reach the ambitious goal. The final sum raised has still made the Edge fund-raiser the biggest fixed-target crowdfunding campaign, so far, according to Canonical.

Two weeks before the deadline, Canonical dropped the price of the phone to $695, which helped increase the money gathered by about $4 million. But even if the campaign eventually failed, Canonical can take away many positives, according to founder Mark Shuttleworth.

"While we passionately wanted to build the Edge to showcase Ubuntu on phones, the support and attention it received will still be a huge boost as other Ubuntu phones start to arrive in 2014. Thousands of you clearly want to own an Ubuntu phone and believe in our vision of convergence, and rest assured you won't have much longer to wait," he wrote in a post on the Indigogo campaign page.

Shuttleworth also said Canonical had been assured by Paypal that all refunds will be processed within five working days. Six days ago, the company said that the top three contributing countries were the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

If the campaign had been successful, contributors would have received the Edge next May. The smartphone's specs weren't finalized, as Canonical wanted to wait for as long as possible to ensure the best available components, it said. But the company had revealed that the Edge would tentatively have a 4.5-inch screen with a 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution and users would be able to boot to either Ubuntu or Android. The device would also have at least 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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