The Ubuntu Edge is the amazing future space phone of your dreams, which is why UK-based Canonical feels it needs $32 million to make the thing. The Ubuntu creator made some good progress in the initial hours of its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, and is now sitting at just over $4 million pledged, but to stoke the fire it took back its initial promise to up the entry-level pre-order price of the Edge from $600 to $830.
The plan at first was to up the price of the Ubuntu-powered superphone, which is somewhere between a grand tech experiment and a reference device, and it aims to be powerful enough to achieve true computing convergence and replace both smartphone and desktop. But the speed of pledges dipping seems to have encouraged Canonical to change its strategy, so it opened up a number of devices at the $625 dollar level, and also added $675 and $725 tiers. Each has 1250 devices total, with the $625 units selling out at a pretty fast rate already.
Once those are all gone, of course, it reverts back to the $830 level (unless Canonical once again decides to open up more less expensive options). The worry here is that after the initial bump, the Edge will hit a wall and won’t manage the rate of pledges it needs to reach its incredibly ambitious goal in the 29 days remaining in its funding campaign.
Canonical’s goal isn’t completely beyond reach – campaigns on crowdfunding sites including Kickstarter have raised ludicrous amounts of money in less time, like the Pebble, but that only raised $10 million in just over a month, and it was actually seeking about a tenth of that. The Edge sounds like it’ll be the best thing you can get in a mobile device when it finally does become a real, actual thing, but that’s not slated to happen until at least May 2014 per Canonical’s shipping schedule.
Crazy high concept device with huge price tag and relatively unknown mobile OS isn’t exactly a recipe for pre-order success, but the Edge is a mobile geek’s dream. The question is, will enough of those dreamers believe hard enough to raise $32 million in just under a month? Canonical’s clearly willing to give some ground to make that happen, but just how much it will take isn’t quite clear yet.