Feature Article

July 22, 2013

Canonical Seeks $32M to Fund Ubuntu Edge 'Superphone'

Canonical, the U.K.-based software company best known for Ubuntu, has made perhaps its most significant announcement with the launch of what's been deemed the biggest crowd funding campaign to date. On offer is the Ubuntu Edge, a mobile device that aims to marry the portability and convenience of mobile with the power and productivity of the desktop.

The device is being funded via Indiegogo with a campaign goal of $32 million within 30 days. If this unprecedented funding goal is reached, the Edge will receive a limited production run of 40,000 units.

As such, backers must pledge at least $600 on day one to receive a device, or $830 after. These units will apparently ship to backers sometime during May 2014.

Image via Indiegogo.com

A limited run may seem silly if Canonical is looking to get into the hardware business, but the real goal is to push out the Edge's desktop convergence functionality as a free software update that adds this integration to Ubuntu mobile, as well, according to the Ubuntu Edge Indiegogo page.

The Edge is able to dual-boot into the Ubuntu phone OS and Android, while its desktop convergence feature allows the device to become a fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC. This allows users to move seamlessly from one environment to the other without the need to sync or transfer files.

Of course, to support this, the Edge needs some serious processing power under the hood, and it doesn't disappoint. The device will feature a quad-core CPU, at least 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, allowing it to feasibly support desktop use. It also boasts a number of other impressive features, including a Sapphire crystal glass display, dual-LTE and dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, and long-life silicon anode battery technology.

“Ubuntu Edge is the ultimate convergence device — challenging established norms for PCs and smartphones,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, in a statement. “The crowdfunding approach is a new way to prove demand for cutting edge technologies and new classes of devices; supporting the Ubuntu Edge is the best way to catalyze the next generation of personal devices from the industry.”

Edited by Alisen Downey

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