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Ubuntu Edge Now Most-Backed Crowdfunding Campaign Ever

timothy posted about a year ago | from the someone-will-run-with-the-idea dept.

Cellphones 104

Volanin writes "The Ubuntu Edge has now passed the $10.2 million mark, thus making it the most pledged-to crowd-funder in history. While the Ubuntu Edge campaign is to be commended for reaching such a mammoth milestone as this, it can't quite claim ultimate victory yet, since it's just short of making one-third of its $32 million goal with a little less than a week left."

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so star citizen doesnt count? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44592637)

cause it passed the 15 million dollar mark last month from pure croud funding .

Re:so star citizen doesnt count? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#44592715)

Canonical’s Ubuntu Edge campaign has raised more money than any other project on IndieGoGo or Kickstarter

Star Citizen is running it's own campaign, and noting is escrowed.

Re:so star citizen doesnt count? (1)

attah (1217454) | about a year ago | (#44592875)

But there is no escrow on kickstarter, right? (dunno about indiegogo) I thought the point was to have the money available when making whatever stuff the crowd wants... (Getting my Oru kayak on monday, jaaay kickstarter)

Re:so star citizen doesnt count? (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year ago | (#44593705)

the ubundu edge campain on indiegogo is escrowed, if they dont raise the $30M then everyone gets their money back.

Re:so star citizen doesnt count? (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44598577)

the ubundu edge campain on indiegogo is escrowed, if they dont raise the $30M then everyone gets their money back.

And that's why I don't participate in Indiegogo, but do many Kickstarters.

Kickstarter doesn't charge you UNLESS the project is funded. Indiegogo charges you first, then refunds you if it fails.

There are two problems with the charge/refund model - one, if you're doing a currency conversion, that means an instant 5-10% hit on your pledge - just due to currency exchange losses. Neverminding currency fluctuations that occur from when you pledge to when you get refunded (and no, you can't win).

The second problem is well, you tie up money. Indiegogo makes a profit based on simply holding the money (and this isn't including the Indiegogo fees). I suppose it makes Indiegogo brilliant business people - they have this huge pool of cash they can pretty much invest with - all they need is enough cash to cover the payouts of the day, but money's coming in for future payouts.

But it's the currency losses that get to me. Pledge under $100, and it's not a huge deal - it's probably $5-10 you lose. But I've done bigger pledges on Kickstarter, and you're looking at huge losses. $1000 pledge? Are you really willing to give up $100 or so in the currency exchange?

Re:so star citizen doesnt count? (3, Funny)

black3d (1648913) | about a year ago | (#44597993)

Right, but the article isn't "Ubuntu Edge now most backed escrowed campaign". It's claiming it's the biggest crowd-funded campaign, which it's clearly not. Although, it's not Star Citizen either. I believe World War II [wikipedia.org] takes out that title. $185.7 billion in un-adjusted crowd-funded dollars.

Why Crowdfunding ? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44592643)

Shuttleworth should just cancel his next trip to mars to raise the funds.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (2)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year ago | (#44592669)

Why crowdfunding? Shuttleworth should just cancel his next trip to mars to raise the funds.

The point of this exercise was to show hardware makers that there is a crowd out there willing to pay lots of money for a non-Android/non-iOS/non-Windows OS, so they will get onboard and start offering Ubuntu Phone.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44592689)

This would be good, if Canonical wasn't a corporation itself.

I, for one, am waiting for my Firefox OS phone. I just hope it won't be as evil.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (2)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#44592935)

I am waiting for a phone where software is not integrated into the hardware. Bit like I can buy a PC and put Windows on it or BSD or Linux.
Oh and a phone that s not locked. (OK, I already have that as you can buy unlocked phones in Belgium where I live)

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (2)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about a year ago | (#44593211)

And one where you can replace the battery and screen yourself when they are broken, and where you can buy them separately from vendors. Why throw away the whole phone just because one component is damaged? This should be standard.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#44593279)

The downside of that would mean it'll probably be fatter. Not that a few millimeters extra would matter much.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (1)

zieroh (307208) | about a year ago | (#44593581)

In the phone industry, a few millimeters is everything. Massive engineering efforts are launched to reduce the Z of a phone by fractions of a millimeter.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#44593619)

It may mean everything to the design department or marketing department, but do users really care?
Personally, I wouldn't even notice, much less care if my phone were two or three millimeters fatter.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (1)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#44593975)

I'm sure a great many people wouldn't give a damn. Jobs sold the Apple faithful on his design concept but I don't like the size and thickness of iPhones.
The proportions of the Galaxy S4 fit my hand better but felt too skinny and flimsy until I put a Gelato case on it.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44593221)

I am waiting for a phone where software is not integrated into the hardware. Bit like I can buy a PC and put Windows on it or BSD or Linux.

If your phone has an unlocked bootloader, you can already do that - it's how CyanogenMod works for instance (still android, but different OS image). There are Debian images for some phones - it's really a matter of arch and driver support. NetBSD could be in the running too.

Going the other way, my boy is at the moment watching Wild Kratts via Netflix on a tablet that came with WebOS but is currently running CyanogenMod 7.

Mozilla Corporation (0)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44593057)

Mozilla Corporation [mozilla.org] is a corporation. I don't see what that changes.

Re:Mozilla Corporation (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#44593301)

There seems to be this believe among commune-hippie-types that grouping a bunch of people together towards a shared goal makes them evil.

The "corporations are lawful evil" meme (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44593365)

I think the "corporations are evil" meme among hippies has something to do with one or more of these:
  • A. Corporate executives are seldom held liable for their actions through the corporation thanks to limited liability.
  • B. More "evil" corporations tend to be under a for-profit charter as opposed to a not-for-profit charter that requires all earnings to be reinvested in growth. Mozilla Corporation is technically for-profit, but it's wholly owned by the non-profit Mozilla Foundation.
  • C. There's a perception that for-profit corporations, especially publicly traded ones, have some sort of "fiduciary duty" to compromise what marketing convinces the public are the corporation's founding principles in the name of maximizing profit. This puts them the farthest toward evil alignment, specifically lawful evil pre-4e.

Now which is it?

Re:Mozilla Corporation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44593733)

There seems to be this believe among commune-hippie-types that grouping a bunch of people together towards a shared goal makes them evil.

Commune-hippies are very good at grouping bunches of people together towards a shared goal - you should try us, it really works. We just question the goals (and methods) of corporations and states, and some of those are "evil" indeed.

Re:Mozilla Corporation (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year ago | (#44595511)

There seems to be this believe among commune-hippie-types that grouping a bunch of people together towards a shared goal makes them evil.

Your superiority over the straw men in your self-constructed world is assured...

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#44592703)

Why crowdfunding? Shuttleworth should just cancel his next trip to mars to raise the funds.

The point of this exercise was to show hardware makers that there is a crowd out there willing to pay lots of money for a non-Android/non-iOS/non-Windows OS, so they will get onboard and start offering Ubuntu Phone.

Not just the hardware makers... This also shows the potential buyers that there is a sustainable market, so it might be around more than a few weeks, unlike the HP Tablet, and a few really cool phones.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#44593083)

Why crowdfunding? Shuttleworth should just cancel his next trip to mars to raise the funds.

The point of this exercise was to show hardware makers that there is a crowd out there willing to pay lots of money for a non-Android/non-iOS/non-Windows OS, so they will get onboard and start offering Ubuntu Phone.

Although the cold hard economic facts of it is that there really isn't a market big enough ... at typical phone hardware prices, $10m is, what... 15,000 phones? At that quantity, you won't get discounts on the manufacturing, so it won't cover anywhere near that. The math simply makes no sense... and even less so when you consider Canonical (unlike Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Apple, etc..) doesn't have an IP portfolio to cross license, so there's likely $100+ in IP costs per handset they'd have to pay to legally sell the hardware. (Typically with cross licensing, a company only pays the amount of the delta between the cross licensed portfolios, so one company might have $50 in license fees and another $60, so the first one would owe $10 a handset to the other.)

IMO, this is just Canonical (and more to the point Shuttleworth) playing like a big company the same way a kid plays like an astronaut or a fireman. Cute and all, but a lot of people are going to lose money because of it.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | about a year ago | (#44593641)

If this is true, the solution is to create demand for a fully unlocked Android phone with appropriate specs to run Ubuntu. The manufacturer can sell in bulk to run of the mill Android customers, and possibly make a killing as the 'future proof' alternative that can be easily upgraded once the manufacturer stops supporting it.

Samsung won't do it. Probably not Motorola or HTC either. But with all the talk about Samsung 'owning' Android and no room for anybody else, there's a wide opening for a competent hardware company to succeed by taking up the banner of openness. Hell, maybe HP or Dell should step up - they both want to be mobile players, but can't succeed at Samsung's game. Shuttleworth should just donate an appropriate design to a willing manufacturer and call it a day.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (1)

eric_herm (1231134) | about a year ago | (#44593487)

So in this case, this is showing that there is almost no one that want it, since there is less than 10000 persons who pledged money for that. That's a bit sad, i would have pledged if I didn't changed my phone just before ( ie, if Canonical did communicate in the open, I would for sure waited a bit more, but I guess that 1 person wouldn't have changed much ).

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44594293)

Uhm, you might want to actually read. It's a hybrid Ubuntu / Android device.

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#44592695)

You are awfully free with other peoples money. Perhaps he wants to make sure it will show a profit, rather than carry a second loss making project for years...

Re:Why Crowdfunding ? (2)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#44593121)

You are awfully free with other peoples money. Perhaps he wants to make sure it will show a profit, rather than carry a second loss making project for years...

If that was his goal, they left a zero off the crowdsourcing goal.

But if the goal was to get a ton of media attention and marketing, they're being successful. In five days everyone's money is returned, and millions of dollars worth of advertising will have been bought for the efforts.

Superlatives are superlative! (1, Interesting)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | about a year ago | (#44592651)

...the most pledged-to crowd-funder in history.

Until the next one. And then the one after that. And the next one. And in 10 years comes the next story about constant-dollar successes.

All the while, the actual story is (less spectacularly) "After 25 days Ubuntu Edge only has one-third of $32M goal pledged with five days left."

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (4, Insightful)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year ago | (#44592675)

Regardless of how you cut it, they've still managed to attract $10,000,000 of pre-orders in 25 days, on a second-tier crowd-funding site which lacks a lot of mainstream footfall, for a product running unproven software and ill-defined hardware. That tells you* a lot about how appealing their product pitch is to it's potential market. I personally haven't pledged, because I can't quite stomach putting down $650 blind for a hypothetical product. But I would bite their arm off for it if it were on general sale.

* And more importantly, it doesn't just tell YOU about how appealing the concept is; it tells their potential OEM partners. That was probably the whole point of this. The good folks in management at Lenovo, Dell, Acer, etc. will be looking at those pre-orders a little enviously- do they think they could get the same interest and blind faith for their next "premium" Android handset?

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (4, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#44592693)

It also was very helpful in showing them the correct price-point for the phone. It is different from anything else out there, so knowing how to price it was going to be a challenge. Now that they know what the market is willing to pay, they can build around that.

Also, I would not be surprised if Shuttleworth makes up the difference at the last minute and goes forward anyway.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year ago | (#44592857)

Also, I would not be surprised if Shuttleworth makes up the difference at the last minute and goes forward anyway.

If it's ten thousand dollars short, maybe. Maybe even if it's a a hundred thousand dollars short. But when it's 2/3 short of the goal, don't count on it.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44595755)

hah! perhaps you've not heard of Mark Shuttleworth. Our Lord and Saviour. Ye who brings the light.

Fuck steve jobs in the arse with a shotgun. Mark Shuttleworth is King.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

melonman (608440) | about a year ago | (#44592933)

I can't see how this tells them anything useful about price points for retail sale. The people who pledged money are agreeing to buy an untested phone in a year's time. That's way beyond even "normal" "early adopters". To do that, you have to be really passionate about new technology AND be able to pay a premium price for a phone you can't use for 12 months.

I've spoken to several people who, like me, might well have paid if the phone would be shipped today or in a couple of months. But with the timescales in the proposal the "price points" are for venture capitalists plus people with money to spare who just want a slice of a neat idea.

None of this tells us anything about how much they could sell production phones with this spec for in a year's time, and it's pretty much certain that to achieve any kind of market share they'd have so drop prices compared with the ones they tried this month.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about a year ago | (#44593411)

I can't find the news article at the moment, but I read a answer the question of him funding it. He said if didn't hit the goal, it wouldn't happened, he is not going to use his money, no matter how little.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year ago | (#44592853)

I personally haven't pledged, because I can't quite stomach putting down $650 blind for a hypothetical product. But I would bite their arm off for it if it were on general sale.

Then you may be one of the people for whom treshold pledge funding hasn't quite sunk in.

Remember, you're not putting down $650 blind. If it doesn't reach the goal, you're out nothing. I don't know how IndieGoGo does it, but Kickstarter doesn't even withdraw or lock the funds until the campaign ends (so yes, it can happen that some people can't afford their pledge when the campaign is over! Kickstarter project starters are warned to take that into account.)

So if you're that excited about it, do go over there and show your support! Most likely it won't reach the goal, but you'd have sincerely signalled your interest, and that is a good thing to do in any market.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#44593085)

Remember, you're not putting down $650 blind. If it doesn't reach the goal, you're out nothing.

Yes, but assuming they'd reach their $32 million they'd take your money now and you might get a product that is roughly what they promised and on time or just one or neither. Chances are there's no canceling, no return, no refund so anything they slap an "Ubuntu Edge" sticker on you're stuck with, at best a class action where you get a silly coupon. There's a huge difference in risk between that and a finished product on the shelf.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44593183)

Except Canonical is not a 2013 startup, they've been around since the early 2000s and most likely would deliver what they promised at the very least, possibly even a better product at launch time.

Note: I'm not a shill for Canonical, I run Slackware on my PC and prefer Android to what I've seen of Ubuntu Touch. Just wanted to counter your argument with some common sense.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (3, Informative)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year ago | (#44593741)

Or if you had bothered to ever read the little faq on the Ubuntu Edge påage you would have discovered that they indeed will allow a refund if you are not satisfied with the end product.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#44592911)

These are not pre-orders. They are non-charitable donations. Big difference.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44592919)

It tells you about how appealing their product is, but not why. It's appealing to people for the same reason as an Apple product: the name. Proof? There's no evidence whatsoever that it won't suck, but there were many attempts to preorder anyway.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (3, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#44593029)

I would say the contrary, this tells us how unappealing the established phones are, this is at least partially powered by negative sentiment.
For me the attraction is to get my hands on a device that can replace the old Nokia N900 and allows the use of mainstream Linux software.

Shuttleworth has made statements that could be read as if it's going to be a quite open platform but it wasn't a crystal clear and hard commitment he made.

For the time being my sympathy goes to jolla.com.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year ago | (#44599129)

Also, the guy at Jolla have a slightly better history on open tecnologies and alike - AFAIK, they tend to reuse a lot of technologies, instead of suffering from NotInventedHere sindrome. Interoperability looks pretty promising too.

I also think they may have taken some (potential) customers from Ubuntu Edge, since their goals overlap a bit, and Jolla opened up pre-ordering first.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (2)

whoop (194) | about a year ago | (#44593275)

Totaling up the numbers on the page, only $2.1 million are pre-orders ($695 and up). The remaining donations bring the total to $3.1 million. So, I guess they have mystery-backers that are not on Indiegogo that they add in. Or are they just fudging the numbers? Nobody knows, you just take their word for it.

But, as far as proven crowd-sourced backers, they've raised $3.1m. That's on-par with several Kickstarter projects (Doublefine's adventure, Wasteland 2 come to mind). Ouya brought in $8 million from the general public.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year ago | (#44593755)

The first days pre orders are not shown on the page for some reason, that is probably why they don't add up.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44593995)

For them to fudge the numbers they would have to collude with Indiegogo (and would Indiegogo risk their reputation doing that?) The reason the numbers don't add up is because they changed/removed pledge levels when they got some deals with hardware partners lined up that enabled them to cap the price at $695.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#44594771)

They changed the price-point offerings a little while back. The old pledges with the other prices (the majority of the money) don't show up anymore.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44593603)

" I personally haven't pledged, because I can't quite stomach putting down $650 blind for a hypothetical product."

So why not pledge say 20$ or even 5$. Don't think of it as pledging for someone else's Edge, because it is not merely that. Your pledge could be for open source and open platforms, to give Ubuntu a fighting chance in the mobilespace; or as a thank-you to Canonical for bringing millions of people to the world of Linux.

Pledging isn't simply about perks. It is the most democratic way for you to influence the marketplace.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#44593653)

Not more than 10,000 sales would be a huge flop for any OEM or carrier. The Kin, if you remember sold a bit over 7000.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year ago | (#44593773)

That depends upon how big you are, if you are a small company then 10000 units can be alot, the kin was made be the behemoth Microsoft that needs to sell millions of units just to break even.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

Shoten (260439) | about a year ago | (#44593697)

* And more importantly, it doesn't just tell YOU about how appealing the concept is; it tells their potential OEM partners. That was probably the whole point of this. The good folks in management at Lenovo, Dell, Acer, etc. will be looking at those pre-orders a little enviously- do they think they could get the same interest and blind faith for their next "premium" Android handset?

I think the person above you hit it on the head when he pointed out that the real story is that they're only 1/3rd of the way to their goal. And I don't think that 10 million dollars would actually impress the potential OEM partners who 1, depend on the current status quo and their already-existing partnerships as a barrier to entry for other competitors, and 2, know that 10 million dollars is a rounding error when it comes to the development and launch of an entirely new mobile platform.

Edge touch seems like has problem (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#44596745)

edge gestures sound exciting till you consider that most phones live in cases to protect them from drops. Or I should say, everyone who has dropped a phone and broken it, has a case.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44592699)

Yes, well, unlike kickstarter, indiegogo has an option to keep the money collected even if it doesn't reach the goal. $32M could have been considered a "maximum stretch goal", if the Ubuntu folks had checked a different box (but they didn't).

Folks should look to the crowdfunding systems as primarily market research tools, secondarily very affordable publicists, and lastly a funding platform.

The value in reporting the "limit breaking" is to let everyone in on the spectacle: Cloud is using Meteorain. Whether it's effective or not is only half the point... It's fun to look at too.

Do you think impressive effects have anything to do with achieving goals in this place?
Do you think that's news you're reading now?

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (2)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year ago | (#44592869)

Yes, well, unlike kickstarter, indiegogo has an option to keep the money collected even if it doesn't reach the goal.

Ah yes, the box that turns it from a propoer treshold pledge scheme to scammy "I want the money anyway" begging.

That checkbox may superficially sound like a good deal for project starters, but it's a rotten deal for supporters. Ubuntu would NOT get to the amount they have if they checked that box.

The only reason Kickstarter's competitors offer that box at all is that they're desperate to get projects. So desperate that they'll accept the dumb and greedy ones. This also sends a rotten signal to buyers (if you though there were many dodgy projects on Kickstarter, it's nothing to its smaller competitors!) but the attitude of competitiors is that "we'll worry about that later, once we have projects". Which makes a certain perverse business sense.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44592759)

So instead of "Linux on the Desktop" pipe dreams, we can all start predicting when Linux will overtake the mobile market. In the meantime, everyone will continue to use Linux as a server os.

Re: Superlatives are superlative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44592779)

Linux is already the most popular smartphone platform of all time.

Re: Superlatives are superlative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44593219)

No, a Java-like userland with a heavily chopped up and patched up Linux-like kernel is the most popular smartphone platform. The only recent smartphones that could be considered GNU/Linux based were the N900 and the Palm Pre series. And even those were heavily modified in the userland.

Re: Superlatives are superlative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44595997)

That's what he said: Linux is already the most popular smartphone platform of all time.

Re: Superlatives are superlative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44596285)

Linux != GNU/Linux

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (2)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year ago | (#44592839)

This is more interesting, I think, because quite likely this is going to be the first record-breaker that fails. A lot of people will for the first time have supported a failing project with considerable money.

That may be sad for Ubuntu, but it's good news for treshold pledge funding (crowdfunding is a poor word). I'm pretty sure that for most people, it hasn't quite sunk in that you aren't out any money if your project fails. It's one thing to hear it, another thing to see it. The people who pledged this time around will be (even) braver threshold pledge funders in the future.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (3, Insightful)

ICLKennyG (899257) | about a year ago | (#44593195)

So this isn't like an ebay auction for 10lbs of crack where the price hits 80m before it gets shutdown because people have realized that its not real? Give me a break. There is a considerable amount of people who have pledged to this and know for a fact that it won't get funded. This is a nebulous speculative design that may or may not be awesome in a years time. The only thing we know is that it will have 4GB of ram and 128GB of storage. Ok, and for ~700 USD it would likely be seen in today's market as relatively inexpensive, but not ground breakingly so considering the long lead times and other unknown variables. The thing I hate the most about these stories on here is that the fanboys are going to trumpet this as amazing and positive when there is almost nothing about this that could be seen that way. Microsoft did 75x this with Surface and is taking a very public beating for having failed. Samsung sold about 20m units (1,000x as much gross revenue as this project) in only 2 months of the S4 and Apple sold 50m iPhone 5s in it's first quarter. The market as a whole can't even distinguish if this is signal or noise.

Time and again projects have come along to 'revolutionize' smart phones. Remember the original Google Nexus? It was such a failure that Google licensed off the brand and is now relying on other companies to make the hardware. The F1 analogy is also bullshit. The difference is that the F1 people are actually using spectacularly unique hardware (and software) to do things orders of magnitudes faster than a regular joe could and can do it in a clear way that is exciting and spectator friendly and as such can be dramatically subsidized by tickets, merchandizing and tv rights. If there were a market for performance luxury phones the $10,000 Vertus wouldn't be absolute shit. http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/12/vertus-first-android-smartphone-will-cost-7-900-euros/ [engadget.com]

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#44593997)

This is a nebulous speculative design that may or may not be awesome in a years time.

If that. Or it may fall in line with what's on-par for what's available in a year's time. Either way, I tossed in because I wanted something not Android/iOS/Windows Phone and, worst comes to worst, I can use Android and tinker with the other end (since it'll work anyway.)

Microsoft did 75x this with Surface and is taking a very public beating for having failed.

Microsoft also wrote down $900M on the ridiculous over production of Surface RT devices, which ate up all of the Surface revenues. They failed spectacularly while this hasn't even gotten off the ground yet.

Samsung sold about 20m units (1,000x as much gross revenue as this project) in only 2 months of the S4 and Apple sold 50m iPhone 5s in it's first quarter. The market as a whole can't even distinguish if this is signal or noise.

So the only possible way for this to exist is to instantly compete with Apple and Samsung or... what? It's insta-doomed? Logic like that is what kills markets and makes them stagnant ("don't you dare attempt to enter and bring something new to a market, you're already dead cause you're not huge!")

Remember the original Google Nexus? It was such a failure that Google licensed off the brand and is now relying on other companies to make the hardware.

The original Nexus was made by HTC. They've always done that.

If there were a market for performance luxury phones the $10,000 Vertus wouldn't be absolute shit.

There's an upper limit on what you get for your money. Vertu devices are for those with too much money and not enough sense. Smartphone hardware peaks at around $800 these days, after that you're just burning money.

Re:Superlatives are superlative! (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#44596885)

quite likely this is going to be the first record-breaker that fails.

Fails?

A lot of people will for the first time have supported a failing project with considerable money.

There's a difference between a project that fails, and a project whose crowdsourcing effort is unsuccessful. As of yet no project I've contributed to has failed. This will simply be the first one that did not (and I had every reason to believe would not) achieve its funding goal.

with unity? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44592719)

I'm not trying to troll. Its just not my cup of tea. Ubuntu is dying a marketing death and it doesnt have the momentum of M$ to overcome ...

Re:with unity? (0)

Absolutely.Geek (2913529) | about a year ago | (#44592761)

I have been using Linux for a long while now, and mostly that has been Ubuntu. When Unity first showed its face it was an ugly face....slow, buggy and essentially unusable.

However it has become far more polished and useful over the years, when Ubuntu 13.04 came out I moved back from Mint, I was unhappy with the direction of Ubuntu and decided to move to Mint, initially it looked decided that Mint was where I would stay.

Yes Unity is slow on older hardware, but I am a computer geek....I don't do slow harware, my i7 laptops and desktop don't have an issue, and 13.04 is much much better optimized then the original (10.04 / 10.10) versions.

I'm not an appologist and I don't believe in flame wars either, if you like it use it....if you don't well there are many choices available.

As for Unity as a phone interface, the demos/videos that have been floating around the web look really interesting and I would be happy to give it a chance against my Android device. I would judge it on its own merits as a usful/frustrating device.

Re: with unity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44594339)

We'll put, I hated unity and turned everyone I could from it. However to my surprise, in 13.04 I find it very useable and intuitive.

"Protection: Sapphire Glass" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44592739)

Oh god, why!? Why pick the most brittle option available? Sure, it's more scratch resistant than glass or plastic, but you drop your phone once and the display is gone.

Going to fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44592747)

Clearly it's going to fail - I have to wonder if they intended for it to fail. Who on earth sets 32 million as a crowdfunding goal for a indiegogo/kickstarte project?

Differences to FairPhone? (2)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#44592787)

One thing I like about FairPhone [fairphone.com] is the emphasis on open hardware in addition to software. Can anyone explain the relative strengths of Ubuntu Edge on the open source front?

Re:Differences to FairPhone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44593181)

It's got publicity and a well known brand to it.
Because people don't care about open hardware or software. Sad but true.
Same as Iphone.

Re:Differences to FairPhone? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#44593841)

Probably no better or worse than that, given that the phone you link uses a Mediatek SoC with a PowerVR GPU, which guarantees at least one closed source blob. This phone would probably end up in the same state.

Re:Differences to FairPhone? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44598587)

Probably no better or worse than that, given that the phone you link uses a Mediatek SoC with a PowerVR GPU, which guarantees at least one closed source blob. This phone would probably end up in the same state.

Well, Ubuntu Edge is supposed to be completely open with no blobs. This means one of two things.

1) FIrmware embedded in hardware (flash memory) is not counted by the FSF. Firmware blobs are only "bad" when they exist as a file on disk and loaded into the embedded RAM of the target hardware. So WiFi chips that have built in firmware storage are fine.

2) You don't have to use blocks that require proprietary blobs. It just means you don't use PowerVR at all. This means you need to ensure your software is able to use 2D accelerators (most of this is open) and do everything in 2D. (We use 3D purely because most 3D hardware is faster than 2D hardware at achieving the same results).

Of course, it means you're stuck with probably poor video playback performance (at least most 2D accelerators can do basic YUV surfaces), and no 3D at all.

Is that you, Raj? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44592823)

Sheldon: Is that you, Raj? I don't recognize your edge.

Raj: Sheldon, I'm begging you. I want to go to this mixer, and I don't want to go alone.

Sheldon: Well, you're in luck, there's a mixer here in Flatland. Oh, look, there's a sexually attractive line segment, you should chat her up.

Raj: What?

Sheldon: Tell her you're a circle, Flatland gals are all hot for circles.

First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44592831)

First post on slashdot where it was actually linked to the campaign! :P

most-backed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44592837)

420 blaze it

The goal is $32 million (2, Insightful)

certain death (947081) | about a year ago | (#44592973)

I don't quite understand...they are celebrating selling over $10 million worth of vaporware, when the goal is $32 million. Were they actually out to build a new phone, or did they just want to break a fund raising record? I won't be contributing to the hype, they are a for profit company in there somewhere, they need to either build the phone, or shut the fuck up.

Re:The goal is $32 million (2)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year ago | (#44593795)

Or they simply do as every other company does and uses this (celebrating the over $10 million) to get peoples attention to the project in order to get more pre-orders.

Re:The goal is $32 million (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#44593993)

I believe the strategy here was is get potential OEMs tripping all over themselves in consideration of the number of people willing to put down money for the idea of a product that is over a year out from production, namely those willing to lay down enough for a prototype. At $10 mil, I'll bet they have perked plenty of corporate ears.

Myself as someone who has been following the development of this product, and has taken the time to understand why it's OS is innovative, and most importantly (to me anyway) it's kick ass interface, I'm rooting for them.

BTW - it's not vaporware until it doesn't happen, and they're not planning on even having a production phone for year - which they have been completely up front about.

I would also like to say that I find it disheartening that so many Linux based projects get their teeth kicked by slashdoters these days. I remember a time long ago on slashdot when something like this would garner a sense of adventure.

they are a for profit company in there somewhere

Semantically, I'm not quite sure how to interpret this attempt at putting words together into a coherent thought, but I'll respond based on a guess of what I think your trying to say: It is not possible to design a $100 million Open Source factory to produce these phones, where said factory and all assembly machines are drawn up as Open Source schematics, and to then have a bunch of Open Source construction workers work for free in their spare time to build said $100 million factory, and to then pay the power bill with Open Source........? Or perhaps you are talking about Canonical making money? Before I go so far as to respond to that in all the ways I could interpret, I'll let you post back with clarification. Or perhaps I have just wasted my time writing a rebuttal to a troll.

Re:The goal is $32 million (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year ago | (#44594791)

BTW - it's not vaporware until it doesn't happen, and they're not planning on even having a production phone for year - which they have been completely up front about.

by that definition nothing is vaporware since everything could still happen in the future.

the problem is that in a year, the state of the art in software and hardware will have progressed radically. the designs they are showing today will be outdated in a year. it's more like a PR campaign, "see all of the people we have working on this? see the mockups we've posted in the conference rooms? we can build a smartphone OS. invest in us." basically, they want to be in the mobile OS business, but they need cash.

it's a hard sell to the carriers. android succeeded because they were scared of apple dominating the world. that's not a threat anymore.

Re:The goal is $32 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44598931)

They promise the faster available quad-core, a sapphire crystal glass screen (which no other phone has), 128GB of storage (which most high ends phone probably won't match next year), and a silicon anode battery which should greatly increase battery life. The only part that will be dated next year is the 720x1280 screen, though they have a point that it is hard to notice higher resolutions on 4.5" screen and 1280x1920 screens at that size are mostly about bragging rights. It will also dual-boot Android with their Ubuntu on Android app, as well as Ubuntu mobile, so you'll still have the latest software on the Android side.

If they do deliver on their promises, it will still be a premium phone and not outdated when it is released next year. I haven't backed it because I haven't really got that much money to spend on an unproven phone I won't even get my hands on for a year, and I'm not happy with how Shuttleworth handled the Amazon shopping lens debacle last year and the general attitude they are taking towards their community, although I was still tempted because I'd love an up-to-date phone that runs regular Linux.

Re:The goal is $32 million (1)

certain death (947081) | about a year ago | (#44597329)

Wow! I am not used to getting intelligent replies here...that hasn't happened since about 2001! My bad engrish aside, I was saying that Canonical is a for profit, and any profits to be had from a smart phone with the Ubuntu name would likely end up being reported on their bottom line. It feels to me like they are trying to get the community to pay for their R&D because they don't want to, or can't. I too would be first in line with my hard earned cash to buy one, if only there was one.

Re:The goal is $32 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44595807)

umadbru?

Success (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about a year ago | (#44593059)

While it seems unlikely now that Ubuntu will get to the 32 million mark, and will have to refund the money given, they may have just demonstrated that there is some demand for a dual booting phone with more of the features of a PC. Canonical needs a dance partner to sell Ubuntu on a mobile platform, maybe one of the smartphone manufacturers will take notice. If that happens, the campaign may be a success after all.

Re:Success (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#44593711)

Yes, the demand is only marginally higher than the demand for the Kin. Which is to say as a retail product it would be an enormous flop.

Woot! (1)

grub (11606) | about a year ago | (#44593071)


2014 will be both the year of Linux on the Desktop and Linux in the Pocket!

But on the flip side (1)

cjjjer (530715) | about a year ago | (#44593155)

...the most pledged-to crowd-funder in history

It also could become the biggest crowd-funded flop in history too. Just sayin'

Open Source fanboys/girls wanted it for free (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44593387)

That's why it failed.

Ubuntu Edge Greatness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44593431)

This is the next step in free cellular computing, Waiting does not bring about positive action, Positive action brings about positive action. By supporting the ubuntu edge you are helping us build the next step in securing free cellular computing. Remember Rome was not built in a day. The Ubuntu Edge when it gets funded will be a great leap for the technological community, because we are demanding preplanned obselecence be taken out of our market place!! We are Ubuntu We are strong!

Most pledged to.... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about a year ago | (#44594041)

by what metric. Isn't Star Citizen up over $15M if you want to talk about raw numbers.

I've wanted this sort of thing for a long time (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44594121)

A general purpose computer / phone that can hold all of your data, be your only computer and fit in your pocket. What would be really great is if it could automatically connect to a wireless hub that attaches monitors, keyboard, mouse and various peripherals when it detects that it's within a specified proximity.

The technology is certainly possible and most of it likely exists in some autonomous form or another; it's mainly a matter of someone coordinating and bringing it all together. Will that someone be Ubuntu? Who knows. But I know that the one that will have the best chance will be the one that is most openly standardized.

I want one with x86/64, though, so I can run real software, not the piddly-ass crippleware that seems to plague ARM.

Re:I've wanted this sort of thing for a long time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44596695)

I would even go a step farther and say that I would like it to be able to connect to 'most' wifi routers by default just for calls (VoIP) and 10 MB of data/day, even if they have security turned on the router.

That way, you could eliminate the monthly $60 phone bill... That is what it would take for me to be interested.

Re:I've wanted this sort of thing for a long time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44598221)

I want one with x86/64, though, so I can run real software, not the piddly-ass crippleware that seems to plague ARM.

That is an issue of what OS/software are on the device. You can make an x86 system be totally locked down/crippled, or you can make an ARM system be very functional and very open. Just need different setups. The issue is most ARM devices tend to be locked down due to being setup as embedded devices. AMD is working on ARM64 servers, those will be full computers with "real" software if/when they come out.

compelling, but will be dated (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year ago | (#44594709)

the software (mockups) look compelling, but outing a design today for something that may ship in 2014 is not much more than an exercise in PR (and fundraising). that goes doubly for the hardware mockup. it's sort of like saying: "if we had funding a year ago, this is what we could have produced have produced today."

dylan (0)

tintn678 (3022941) | about a year ago | (#44595069)

Dylan. I see what you mean... Rodney`s stori is really cool... on monday I bought a great new Acura after having earned $9829 this - 5 weeks past and-just over, ten/k this past-munth. it's by-far the coolest job Ive had. I started this 6 months ago and pretty much immediately startad bringin home at least $70, per-hour. I work through this link......WEP6.COM [wep6.com]
Go to website and click Home tab for more details.

Wayland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44596587)

I've invested if they would have stayed with wayland. I'm not interested in the second unix or linux wars.

The appeal of this thing escapes me (2)

gun26 (151620) | about a year ago | (#44597257)

I understand why Canonical wants to do this product. The Linux desktop is, along with all desktops including Windows and Mac OS, declining in importance. Canonical needs to establish their presence on mobile and Edge us their best hope. But I don't understand why any user who is less than wealthy would want to pledge $700-$800 for a first-time device from Ubuntu. It's somewhat analogous to people wanting to pay $1500 for the Google Glass Explorer Edition, but at least Google Glass is in new territory, wearable technology. Ubuntu Edge is going to be compared to all the smartphone systems that have come before it, and I don't think very many people are going to find the case for running it very compelling.

Yes, Edge is supposed to be one device that does it all, but that has been tried before, most notably by Motorola and Asus, and their devices turned out to be expensive and didn't sell especially well. I don't think substituting Ubuntu's phone system for the Moto/Asus devices' Android would have made much difference. Solving all the hardware problems of the do-everything Edge is going to be the hard part, no matter what OS it runs. And there's the biggest hurdle. Ubuntu is not a hardware company. They are a comparatively small software distributor for desktop Linux with no known experience in hardware, mobile or otherwise. They are a big fish in the desktop Linux pond, but that's a very, very small pond.

What seems to appeal most about the Edge is that nifty slide-from-the-left launcher. I think instead of going all in with a new device with very difficult to solve hardware design problems, Ubuntu could have set their sights lower by offering their user interface design as an add-on launcher on Android. If that went well, they could fork Android the way Amazon has, to offer their own user experience, development environment and app market.

By trying to do the difficult-to-design hardware of the Edge along with selling people on their software, I think Canonical is trying to do much too much at once, and unless they get very lucky with the hardware, the odds have to be heavily against them.

What network will it be on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44597709)

Has anyone seen which networks will/would support it? Although it does claim to be 4G LTE. Why would I pay over $600 for a phone which I'm not sure I'll be able to make calls on? What I still want is a phone with multiple antenna's/frequency ranges (and agreements) so it could work with all US carriers - then I no longer would require a contract - whoever I like most that month I'd select - but if they annoy me I'd switch to another the next month.

Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44598553)

Whatever, I still do not want it.

Also, they aren't trying to generate venture capital for go into production. They want to just pre-sell the devices, while assuming no risks of there own.

This boondoggle actually lowers my already low opinion of Canonical.

Year of Linux on the Desktop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44599119)

If somehow 2014 is the year of Linux on the phone, it may also be the year of Linux on the desktop, because people will want to continue the experience on their computer. Also there will be some demand for mobile developers, which hopefully will have to work on a Linux workstation, right?

ce539c5f-3cab-4f7c-a98c-2fe971713530

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