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Ubuntu Cellphones The Almighty Buck

Canonical Seeks $32 Million To Make Ubuntu Smartphone 267

nk497 writes "Canonical has kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise $32 million in 30 days to make its own smartphone, called Ubuntu Edge, that can also hook up to a monitor and be used as a PC. If it meets its funding target on Indiegogo, the Ubuntu Edge is scheduled to arrive in May 2014. To get one, backers must contribute $600 (£394) on the first day or $810 (£532) thereafter. Canonical will only make 40,000 of the devices."
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Canonical Seeks $32 Million To Make Ubuntu Smartphone

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  • Why? ~nt~ (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OverlordQ ( 264228 )


    • Re:Why? ~nt~ (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 22, 2013 @01:41PM (#44352791)

      I guess Shuttleworth is tired of spending his own money on developing tech nobody wants.

      • Re:Why? ~nt~ (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @05:12PM (#44355093)

        There are plenty of us who want Linux Mint [] and easy to use Linux. The mere fact that Shuttleworth went off on a weird Unity loop and left it for others to commercialise the technology he originally developed doesn't mean we don't want or shouldn't recognise his vision and financial contribution. I think that going direct to the contribution page [] and booking a cool new Linux device doesn't sound like a major pain for a bunch of us.

        If people keep buying the interesting new Linux directed devices then this will keep the hardware designers making them. That can never be bad.

    • Re:Why? ~nt~ (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GovCheese ( 1062648 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @02:01PM (#44353075)
      As a corporate overlord to well-meaning young hippie-leaning techies, Canonical has always been a bit odd. I recall their early versions came bundled with video samples of Nelson Mandela. That sort of bald-faced symbolic sales pitch to the young and idealistic was cleverly successful even if it now seems a bit easier to criticize them for their recent decisions. If it's a walled garden they're building, I suppose it'll have lots of flowers in it.
    • So you can have your computer in your pocket all the time! Think of it:
      1. No more storing your data on crappy services like Dropbox or Google Drive. Now it's just in your pocket, everywhere!
      2. Use the same apps on the phone as on the desktop! The only difference is the input and output!
      3. Hook up your phone to any desktop that has a monitor, keyboard, and mouse (but for some reason no computer)!

      For those who haven't caught on, this whole post was sarcasm.

      • by Bill_the_Engineer ( 772575 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @02:25PM (#44353329)

        You forgot the best feature:
        4. When your phone is misplaced or stolen, your data automatically transitions from pocket data to somewhere data.

      • Re:Why? ~nt~ (Score:5, Interesting)

        by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @03:15PM (#44353875)

        Posted without sarcasm:

        1. Maybe there won't be the quid pro quo of all of your private information so you can use the "free" apps

        2. Perhaps your carrier won't be able to dive into your phone and change any old setting they desire

        3. With luck, maybe your apps won't have obscene data needs that can be sold on the open market for bigdamndata engines

        4. And maybe we can have apps that just do something, rather then the crippled-til-you-pay model.

        But Canonical hasn't guaranteed anything, and the carriers won't love them unless Canonical allows them to feed their shareholders, so it's unlikely as a result that carriers will want the devices to market in the first place.

        Oh, wait.....

      • by cusco ( 717999 )
        Yes, I realize that the post is sarcasm, but really I don't see the issue. 1) Dropbox or other services should still be available, why wouldn't they? I can currently get there from my phone over the cell network, or from my laptop through the corporate network. 2) Why is this a disadvantage? Apps can already change their display mode depending on the screen resolution that they're being shown on. When you have a keyboard and large monitor available you could take advantage of them, when you don't you wo
        • Of course you would be able to use Dropbox and friends, but you can do that today on any of the smartphones already available.

          I've yet to see a single app scale well to not only screen size, but also input method (mouse vs touch). Not that it is impossible, but app developers seem hard-pressed to cope with simple resolution and screen changes... throw in a mouse and keyboard and all bets are off.

          Re: docking station. In the very old days when laptops had horrendous screens and there was nothing like USB (or

          • by cusco ( 717999 )
            Ah. I thought you were disparaging the concept in general, not just this version of it.

            I can type on the Nexus on-screen keyboard, even though I don't like it much. If I could plug the thing into a docking station of some type (USB or otherwise) then I can touch type 40+ WPM. I don't use the laptop docking station on my desk, which adds two monitors, an ergonomic keyboard (ick), and a mouse, but my coworker does (he does a different job than I do).

            Anyway, my ideal device is a Nexus 7 form factor, w
            • Toshiba has the Thrive with dock. The dock takes a microSD, Mini USB, Mini-phone Audio, Power Input, and HDMI Digital Audio/Video. It can of course use a Bluetooth keyboard, so you don't really need a dock for that :) The Thrive is an Android 3.2 beast, and at least some models can be rooted.

    • Publicity, or at I least I hope so.

      He could pay for the whole thing himself, and nobody would buy it. If, on the other hand, he mostly fund it himself through puppets on IGG, it will get widespread praise for breaking all sorts of records, listening to the people. It will also give the idea that people want this, so people will actually want this.

    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      I have to admit, I'm not exactly jumping out of my seat to send $600+ to the company that's been fucking up Ubuntu pretty badly for the past couple of years.
    • Here are 3 reasons why IMO:

      1. Apple products are good, but expensive
      2. Android products are cheaper, but the lack of standards causes all kinds of platform development issues. Personally, I've also had issues with performance and stability.
      3. A new platform can sell itself as THE privacy option. Give users more control or access over the platform to see what applications and the OS is up to.

      • Privacy? The goverment is snooping at the ISP level. Coorporations are spying with apps. Your OS isn't going to help much when you can't trust the software or the communication channel.
  • by ArcadeX ( 866171 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @01:36PM (#44352735)
    Would rather have a []
  • Actual Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ynot_82 ( 1023749 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @01:41PM (#44352789)

    Actual link to indiegogo page, which is missing from FTS []

    • Also, it's worth pointing out that 32 million is 3 times the largest successfully crowd funded project ever. This will never happen, especially since indiegogo has way less than half the financial user base of kickstarter.

  • In order to meet the target, they have to sell at least 38096 of those 40,000 phones after the first day, and 1906 on the first. They have to sell at least 39,507 of them to meet their goal, if they're all at the higher price.

    Ambitious goals.

    • 1904 on the first day, I mean.
      • still more than Windows Phone 8 managed.... :)

  • Just bought a Z10 and I'm loving it. Everything that a smart phone should be and the battery life kicks ass. If I wasn't so paranoid about erased data being recovered I would probably sell my S3... so it'll sit on the shelf with the other antiquated hard drives and peripherals.
    • If you use the built-in data encrypt option it will wipe your data quite thoroughly. You internal SD card is also an EXT based file syste, and you can wipe it using a USB link to a Linux machine if you wish.

    • Flash it with Cyanogenmod, tell Clockwork to wipe the cache/data partitions, and sell it off. Nobody's going to buy your phone and extract your child pornography.
  • 1 MILLION DOLLARS PER DAY, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Anyhow, enought with the screaming, as of now it has 50% of its first day's goal, but I guess it has to do with all the news that have been going around
  • It's not a good form factor like the Psion Revo or HP 200LX. I don 't think I really want another smartphone, I barely use the three that I have.

  • by Duncan J Murray ( 1678632 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @02:25PM (#44353327) Homepage

    The problem is that the 'enthusiasts' who would be contributing to this have just recently had several slaps to the face from Canonical in the form of window buttons, unity, unity & unity. And amazon shopping lenses. 'This is not a democracy' is still rings in the ears. Now Canonical realise that they need the enthusiasts, who's toes they stepped on, to help with this venture into the mobile space.

    To be honest, I hope they succeed. I think the concept of a phone that doubles as a desktop could very well be the future of the desktop computer for many people. The hardware also looks very nice (which is a necessity to tempt anyone off android/ios) - I agree with Shuttleworth that mobile screen resolution is getting out of hand, and I'd much rather the colourful OLED displays than the ridiculously high res LCDs (which then look laggy because the graphics can't keep up - see []) and a sapphire glass screen sounds interesting (though will it be as strong as gorilla glass - I doubt it).

    I wonder how many of us would have paid up if Nokia had done this with the N950?

    • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

      a sapphire glass screen sounds interesting (though will it be as strong as gorilla glass - I doubt it)

      Depends on your definition of "strong." If you're going to drop your phone and have it impact a hard surface, then the gorilla glass is probably superior. If you're going to stick the phone in your pocket next to your keys, the sapphire will be FAR superior, unless you have a diamond-studded keychain. Sapphire is very difficult to scratch due to its hardness.

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        Keys will not scratch a decent smartphone anyway. They are made of very soft metal. Gorilla glass is pretty brittle too. Harder than sand is what we need.

    • by briancox2 ( 2417470 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @02:51PM (#44353603) Homepage Journal
      And yet, within less than 12 hours, they've hit 3/4 of a million US dollars. Watching them over a 10 minute period, after this story went live on Slashdot, they've gone from $650,000 to $750,000. I think the enthusiasts are onboard.

      Keep in mind that the enthusiasts for this project go beyond the Ubuntu Desktop OS enthusiasts. I am a dedicated Ubuntu Desktop OS hater. I'm a Linux Mint guy myself. But I want to see a pure Linux desktop OS succeed on mobile, because it opens the door for others to follow. Rooting your Ubuntu Phone could create a massive amount of ROM flashing options.

      The phone that launches a full desktop when docked (and has 128 GB of storage!) is a game changer in the mobile market. So, fanbois of any stripe can be an enthusiast for this project.
      • by Duncan J Murray ( 1678632 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @03:41PM (#44354133) Homepage

        I will admit that if I see anyone with one of these Ubuntu phones, I'm going to be quite a smidgen jealous!


      • by pspahn ( 1175617 )

        The phone that launches a full desktop when docked (and has 128 GB of storage!) is a game changer in the mobile market.

        I don't know about it being a game changer, but it might.

        There's been so many tech toys that have features that "will become a game changer" that I'm afraid all this will do will introduce a potentially useful new feature that nobody ever uses, thus stagnating like so many before it.

        Think about it, how many devices with "game changing" features have you owned where that feature was nothing more than a rushed out, underdeveloped bullet point used by marketing?

        I see lots of TV ads showing hip kids bumping

    • I want one..... (Score:4, Informative)

      One of the first things I did with my android smartphone was plug in a USB keyboard and mouse and wonder why they didn't "just work".

      Re: sapphire: sapphire is one of the hardest materials there is, I think you could scratch the heck out of 'gorilla glass' with it. Just looked it up, gorilla glass has a "Vickers" hardness of 701 (max) vs. sapphire, at 2300.

      That said, sapphire is more brittle and crack-prone, however. Apparently gorilla glass is treated to stop crack propagation. It's quite possible a hammer-blow that wouldn't damage gorilla glass would smash sapphire.


    • in a fucking heartbeat. But, Nokia had a long-suffering team creating wonderful Linux devices mostly ignored by the rest of the world (not to mention Nokia management). And a lot of those folks are now off at Jolla. Canonical, on the other hand, has no such history of actually shipping quality mobile devices, so it's a far riskier proposition.
  • "Canonical has kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise $32 million in 30 days to make its own smartphone, called Ubuntu Edge, that can also hook up to a monitor and be used as a PC."

    Or, alternatively, some other shit:

    "Specifications are subject to change."

    So, you know, you could really wind up with anything. The campaign keeps talking about a prototype device, but unless I'm missing it, none of the videos actually shows a working phone - the brief plug-in desktop demo in the 'introducing the hardware' v

  • by photonic ( 584757 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @03:43PM (#44354153)
    They already hit the first million in just a few hours since the story hit the big media. Refreshing a few times, they seem to do about 200k$ per hour right now, so I guess they might easily sell the first 5000 phones at the reduced price. It was probably a good idea to trigger some people into a quick decision by lowering the price on the first day, so that they can realease a press release tomorrow saying they hit their first target. It will be hard to keep the same pace in the next 30 days, though ...
  • Yes, exactly what we need: Another poorly built gadget for people who already own 2 or 3 smartphones, plus at least one desktop and laptop, and want a new overpriced piece of silicon to, after a week or so of post-adquisition rush, collect dust on their shelves and end up in a landfill a year later.  Woohoo!

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.