July 23, 2013
Company Seeks $32 Million From Public For Next-Generation Smartphone
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The UK-based, privately held computer software company Canonical is asking for the public's help to raise $32 million for a new smartphone project.The company has long been known for making open source Linux software that it provides for free. It makes its money through partnerships with computer makers and by selling services and support related to its Ubuntu operating system. Now, the company is asking the public to pony up $32 million through its Indiegogo campaign to try and make the "next generation of personal computing."
According to the company's Indiegogo site, the Ubuntu Edge project aims to do for the mobile phone industry what Formula 1 did for the car industry. Canonical says its new project will provide a low-volume, high-technology smartphone.
The Ubuntu Edge will be able to connect to any monitor to transform a smartphone into a personal computer running Ubuntu PC desktop OS.
"We're fascinated by converged computing, the idea that the smartphone in your pocket can also be the brain of the PC on your desk," the company wrote on the Indiegogo page. "The Ubuntu Edge is our very own superphone, a catalyst to drive the next generation of personal computing."
The future phone will feature a 4.5-inch, high-resolution display that will be covered by sapphire crystal, which is a material so hard that only a diamond can scratch it. Canonical said they will be choosing the fastest available multi-core processor, at least 4GB of RAM and a massive 128GB storage.
The Ubuntu mobile software also contains graphics that evolve over time to "reflect your use of the phone."
"We designed the interface to create a beautiful home screen that's free from the usual clutter," Canonical said. "You navigate by swiping over an edge of the screen: open your favorite apps on the left edge, switch instantly between open apps from the right and use the system and app toolbars at the top and bottom respectively. It's so simple, Ubuntu doesn't need a home button at all."
Once the phone is plugged into a desktop monitor, it runs the full Ubuntu desktop OS, but still leaves the option to make and receive calls from the desktop while working. Ubuntu Edge will also be able to be booted into Android, enabling it to run Android apps.
Ubuntu Edge will also have an 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, Dual-LTE, GPS, barometer, HD-audio stereo speakers and a silicon-anode Lithium-Ion battery.
So far the project has raised over $3.5 million and still has 30 days to try and collect the remaining $28.5 million. The Ubuntu Edge smartphone is available for pre-order through Indiegogo for $830, with an estimated delivery time of May 2014.