The company hopes to raise $32 million in 30 days to manufacture a limited batch of 40,000 devices that will run both Android and open source Ubuntu Touch operating systems. Canonical is using the Indiegogo crowdfunding service, which is similar to the more popular Kickstarter, for the campaign and the Paypal electronic payment facility to collect the contributions.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, said in a press note, "Ubuntu Edge is the ultimate convergence device - challenging established norms for PCs and smartphones. The crowdfunding approach is a new way to prove demand for cutting edge technologies and new classes of devices, supporting the Ubuntu Edge is the best way to catalyse the next generation of personal devices from the industry."
The innovative Ubuntu Edge phone is said to support dual-boot with Ubuntu phone OS and Android, and will transform into a PC when docked with a monitor with full Ubuntu desktop with shared access to all phone's files.
The Indiegogo project lists the specifications of the Ubuntu Edge phones. The phone will be powered by a 'multi-core' processor coupled with 4GB of RAM and would include 128GB of storage. It will feature a 4.5-inch HD display with a resolution of 720x1280 pixels and would sport a sapphire crystal display. There will be an 8-megapixel rear camera with low-light feature and a 2-megapixel front camera. Other features would include GPS, accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, barometer and active noise cancellation. The Ubuntu Edge phone is said to feature stereo speakers with HD audio and dual-mic recording. Connectivity options include LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. However, the site clearly mentions that the specifications are subject to change.
As of filing this report, the campaign has already raised over 3 million dollars, less than 24 hours after launch.