Ubuntu Parent Canonical has officially announced the second stage of its convergence initiative with the Ubuntu operating system by announcing a crowdfunding campaign for its smartphone concept, now dubbed the Ubuntu Edge. The Ubuntu Edge is meant to do for overall smartphone technology what motorsport used to do for passenger cars in the words of CEO Mark Shutttleworth, by serving as a testbed for more advanced technologies that could be adapted to larger scales after being proven as viable in small production runs, as was common in motorsport in past eras.
The Ubuntu Edge will be a limited run device exclusive to the backers of the crowdfunding campaign with the following specifications, all of which are still subject to change as the phone still has not been finalized:
- Dual boot Ubuntu mobile OS and Android
- Fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC when docked
- Fastest multi-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage
- 4.5in 1,280 x 720 HD sapphire crystal display
- 8mp low-light rear camera, 2mp front camera
- Dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC
- GPS, accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, barometer
- Stereo speakers with HD audio, dual-mic recording, Active Noise Cancellation
- MHL connector, 3.5mm jack
- Silicon-anode Li-Ion battery
The campaign seeks a rather stiff $32 million USD to begin the limited production run of 40,000 devices to be sold to backers at different levels, with the first level at $600 for today only being offered to individuals and the second level for $830 which will become the default pledge level for the device starting on Tuesday, while two more pledge levels are targeted towards development shops and enterprise at $10,000 and $80,000 respectively for the first 50 and 100 Ubuntu Edge devices respectively along with additional support from Ubuntu for those respective pledge levels.
With the campaign set to expire in a month from today, it’s banking heavily on the idea that early adopters will still flock to the device based on raw specs alone as well as the idea that there is still a demand for desktop/mobile hybrid devices as well as hoping that businesses and developers will want to take a chance on a brand new device with a somewhat established platform, an assumption that has yet to bear itself out, even with the initial flash of the campaign.