Ubuntu Edge smartphone announced with $32 million Indiegogo campaign

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Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has launched a crowd-funding project to build the ultimate, cutting-edge phone and PC convergence device: Ubuntu Edge which is expected to debut in May of next year for $830.

According to the company founder and funder Mark Shuttleworth, the Ubuntu Edge smartphone is a mobile phone with the specification of a low-end laptop.

This will be “a new class of device which brings forward what we see as the inevitable convergence of the phone and the PC,” aimed primarily at enterprises and enthusiasts — “people like us,” said Shuttleworth.

To make it possible, Canonical has launched what it claims to be “the biggest ever crowdfunding campaign” to develop and manufacture the Ubuntu Edge smartphone.

Canonical is using Indiegogo to raise $32 million (£21.5 million) over 30 days. This will finance a limited production run of 40,000 phones.

“Backers committing $600 (£394) on day one, or $830 (£532) thereafter, will receive one of these groundbreaking mobile devices in May 2014,” according to Canonical. Enterprises can buy a bundle of 100 phones for $80,000, including some online support.

The campaign has gotten off to a great start too, raising almost $3.4 million in funding at the time of writing, 24 hours after the campaign was launched.  Okay there’s still an awful long way to go with so little time, but there’s definitely lots of interest.

The phone has a textured aluminum shell over a over a 4.5-inch screen with a 1280×720 resolution. Canonical has confirmed 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage

The phone also has a 8 MP low-light rear camera, 2 MP front camera, Dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC and GPS.

Its operating system consists of a dual boot Ubuntu mobile OS and Android, fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC when docked

According to Shuttleworth, the Edge will only come to market if backers make it happen, as “none of the phone manufacturers are yet ambitious enough to try to put both things in one package.”

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