Ubuntu Edge: Too Ambitious ?
It’s been over 3 weeks now since Canonical first opened up their crowd sourcing strategy in an attempt to get the very first Ubuntu Touch handset released to those who wanted it badly enough. Currently $695 will bag you an Ubuntu Edge due for delivery in May 2014.
Smashing the all time crowd sourcing records by pulling in over $11,060.000 to date on the indiegogo crowd sourcing site, but with only 4 days remaining, they are however still short of over $20,000,000 to give the project the green light, making it very unlikely that the handset will see the light of day at this late stage.
Credit to Ubuntu for breaking all records and showing the world like Jolla have done, that crowd sourcing is perhaps the new way for smaller, up and coming tech companies, but have Canonical been too ambitious in this instance?
The handset itself appears to be good value for money given the very high end hardware specs and finish:
- 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
- 11-pin connector providing simultaneous MHL and USB OTG
- 3.5mm jack
- Silicon-anode Li-Ion battery
- 64 x 9 x 124mm
It also goes without saying that raising over $11,000,000 will certainly be seen as a success whichever way you look at it, however you do have to feel sympathy towards all those people who have pledged their hard earned cash but will potentially have nothing to show for it by the end.
Jolla’s own ‘Invesdor’ based crowd sourcing effort seemed somehow a little more attainable with either 0, 40 or 100 euros options required to book the handset with a shorter planned lead time for delivery.
Putting such a relatively high initial price on the Ubuntu Edge and expecting people to commit such a relatively large sum of money without having seen the handset, accompanied by a 10 month waiting period was always going to be a risky strategy, but one that at least showed there is scope for Shuttleworth & Co to consider something like this when they perhaps have more of their own capital to make up the deficit.
On a side note, there is also the fact that Canonical appear to have ruffled a few feathers with the very folk who would normally be their strongest supporters, that is, the Linux community themselves which doesn’t bode particularly well in moving forward – let’s hope a resolution can be made between the two parties.
One thing also clear from this experience is that Canonical have set some very interesting concepts in place that may well end up shaping the future of mobile/computing for years to come, and while they have certainly been ambitious, that can’t be seen as a bad thing.
There is of course still time (4 days) to turn the campaign around and make miracles happen – we would love to try out the new Ubuntu Edge as the whole concept does look very clever and well thought through from a software/hardware perspective.
Finally, I feel there are a lot of parallels that can be made with Canonical/Jolla’s approach in general and perhaps things that both companies can learn from this experience and that maybe, just maybe, Jolla’s approach has been that little bit more realistic given the set of circumstances.
Did you pledge on the Edge ?