The Ubuntu Edge, the smartphone made by UK-based Canonical, has received a second price drop in its $32 million crowdfunding campaign. For the remaining 14 days of its audacious Indiegogo campaign, the Edge will now cost $695 instead of its full price of $830. Yet, it still might not be enough to raise $32 million and make the project happen.
Existing backers will get a refund of the price difference if they paid more than $695. Canonical says that the success of the campaign allowed them to reduce the costs of components and production once again. As a reminder, if the campaign fails, everybody will receive a full refund and the project will end there.
“There will be no further price reductions, and we must reiterate that the Ubuntu Edge is exclusive to Indiegogo,” Canonical writes on Indiegogo. “It will not be available to buy anywhere outside of this campaign, even at launch,” the company continues.
Raising $8.5 million in 17 days is certainly impressive, but the $32 million goal is a daunting one, and probably unattainable. A price cut represents a double edged sword. Now, instead of having to sell 28,000 phones, the company will have to sell more than 33,000 phones.
While price was probably the biggest complaint, it’s unclear whether this price cut will get them thousands of new buyers. Another potential weakness point is the fact that Canonical is a newcomer in the smartphone space. Finally, in addition of being opensource, Ubuntu has a long history of being a free operating system as well (free as in free beer). Will its users turn into customers?
Just yesterday, Canoncial announced its first major corporate backer, Bloomberg LP. The company spent $80,000 to receive 100 phones. As part of today’s announcement, Canonical said that Bloomberg LP will actually receive 125 phones. This could attract other potential corporate backers who absolutely want Ubuntu Edge phones. That is, if Canonical can fund the remaining 73 percent of the campaign. Otherwise, no one will get a phone.