Congratulations on the new arrival

The chances are you will not have picked up a paper or visited your favourite website without hearing the news of the latest arrival.

If you haven’t heard where have you been? The countdown started 4 days ago and the press have been sat waiting, desperate for a first glance.

I can reveal that I know the new baby’s name. It arrived yesterday on the Ubuntu website and it is called the Ubuntu Edge.

Yes the big announcement on the Ubuntu website lays out the plans for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone.

To pay for the development of the phone Canonical is looking to raise $32 million using the crowdfunded website Indiegogo.

This is a very ambitious target to raise as the current record on Indiegogo is $1,665,380. The record on rival crowdfunded site Kickstarter is $10,266,845.

To be able to receive one of the Ubuntu Edge devices backers to the project had to pay $600 on the first day or $830 on every subsequent day.

Deciding that raising $32 million wasn’t ambitious enough, Canonical have decided that the $32 million needs to be raised within 30 days.

$830 for a smartphone is a big ask. That phone has to be something pretty special. The iPhone and Samsung Galaxy are already much lower in price.

To try and justify the high price Mark Shuttleworth said that this is a “formula 1″ device. The proposed specifications for the phone include 4 gb ram, 128gb storage, and a 4.5 inch screen made out of sapphire crytal.

It has been stated before that the future of Ubuntu may well be a smartphone that is also a fully fledged desktop computer. You carry your phone and it runs Ubuntu. You can make calls, text and use applications as you would
with any other phone but you also have access to all your other software.

When you get to your office or get to your home you can then plug your phone in and it becomes your desktop operating system.

As a vision, Ubuntu’s is one that I am quite excited about. I can really see how it could work and inevitably as processors get faster, storage gets physically smaller but logically bigger, batteries become more powerful there will be no need
for desktop computers and even laptops could be mere docks for holding a smartphone, housing just a screen and a keyboard.

The problem for me is $32 million in 30 days. It sounds like the premise for a movie. It will be a tall order to get the funding required and it may well fail. Then what happens? Are Canonical testing the water to see how popular
the Ubuntu Edge project is? Will they go ahead anyway but on a smaller scale? Will the smartphone project die if the funding isn’t achieved?

Being that the past year has been geared to streamlining Ubuntu to make it efficient on a phone where will this leave Ubuntu if the phone project dies? Will Canonical lose interest once and for all? If so where would that leave Ubuntu?

The next 30 days could be the most important 30 days in Ubuntu’s history.

4 comments for “Congratulations on the new arrival

  1. Trizt
    July 23, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I don’t believe in the ubuntu phone, there are far more interesting phones to look for in the near future like Jolla’s SailfishOS based one with a great expansion option with the other half, we also have the Spanish FirefoxOS phones and not last the king of mobile phones, Samsung has the Tizen phones coming later this year too. Both Jolla and Samsung has experience of making phones, so I think those are the two to look forward for.

    Don’t think Ubuntu will be more than repeating the huge success of micorosfts WP, an utter failure.

    • July 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      The market sure is flooded at the moment. There are almost as many phone operating systems as phone manufacturers.

      I do quite like the idea of Jolla’s Sailfish OS but I have to say the Ubuntu Edge excites me as well

  2. July 23, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Unity is a failure on the desktop and it will be a failure on phones as well. In case you haven’t noticed, the King of Smartphones has already been crowned, and his name is Android.

    • Rostislav Stříbrný
      July 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      I would not say that the Unity is a failure (I use it on daily basis without problems and with high productivity). Canonical has some long-term vision and this is just part of it. You either like it or you don’t.

      It’s obvious that the price for Ubuntu Edge is pretty high. According to Canonical vision/statements and their latest moves (like Mir project), you would be able running Ubuntu also on “any reasonable” Android-compatible device. Of course it depends on the hardware. I wonder if Canonical is currently saying: Let’s buy this “formula 1″ device because our OS’s requirements are also so high. That’s the point from my point of view.

Leave a Reply