Canonical's Ubuntu Edge crowdfunding campaign has raised more money than any other venture of its kind.
Open source developer Canonical has raised $10,341,911 (roughly £6.6m), exceeding the $10,266,844 raised by Pebble Technology on Kickstarter last year for its Pebble smartwatch.
However, Canonical's target figure of $32m (£21.5m) is unlikely to be reached with only six days of the month-long campaign remaining, meaning that the firm will have to return pledges to those that backed it on crowd-funding platform, Indiegogo.
Victor Palau, vice president of mobile delivery at Canonical, told Techworld: “We can be proud of what's been achieved already – but we really want to hit that $32m! We're going to need a huge push, a surge in awareness that builds momentum to carry us over the line. No one here is giving up while the goal remains achievable, and our backers have gone out of their way to add their voices to the chorus.”
He continued: “Whatever happens in the next week, the Ubuntu Edge is already making a difference. This campaign lets enthusiast consumers signal their interest to a mobile industry that caters overwhelmingly to the mainstream. It's making it clear that we’re no longer satisfied with minor updates; we’re looking for true innovation and we’re ready to pay for it. And that message is getting through.”
If the target is reached, Canonical said it would deliver 40,000 Ubuntu Edge handsets by May 2014 to those that pledged over $600 (£394) on day one, or $830 (£592) thereafter.
However, if the target is missed Canonical told Techworld that Ubuntu will still bring a phone to market, but it won't be the Ubuntu Edge.“Canonical will continue to bring an Ubuntu phone to market with our industry partners and will continue to develop the vision of converged computing,”said Palau.
Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth told the BBC that the level of interest from the public, innovators and manufacturers has surprised him.
Last week, Bloomberg revealed that it had backed the Ubuntu Edge campaign with £80,000 because the converged personal computing device could benefit its clients and help shape the future of mobile computing.
If the Ubuntu Edge comes to fruition, it will be equipped with at least 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage but the processor was not revealed. It will also come with dual-LTE, and a silicon anode battery.
Meanwhile, the phone itself will boast a 4.5-inch, 1,280 x 720 sapphire crystal screen, an 8MP rear/2MP front-facing camera and stereo speakers.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, told Techworld last month:“We got excited about the idea that we could engage with a community with crowd funding. It's a really powerful new way to connect innovators to early adopters and to spread the risk of innovation across people who are really interested.”
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