Founder says that failure isn’t the end of the dream.
The Ubuntu Edge mobile phone crowdfunding project has failed to hit its goal of $32m by almost $20m, winning only $12.6m worth of pledges and only 17,215 phones out of the hoped for 40,000.
All the money will now be returned with IndieGoGo forsking the usual cut it takes from failed projects.
Speaking to the Guardian, Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Cononical which was behind the project, said ahead of the deadline that if it failed: "It’s definitely set a record for the most money raised, but also for the most missed in a campaign."
The total pledges were almost $2m ahead of those raised by the Pebble smartwatch on Kickstarter – which did, however, hit and exceed its funding goal.
However, carriers and handset makers are definitely interested in building handsets which will run with mobile Linux, said Shuttleworth.
The Edge would have been a smartphone with 128GB storage, running both Android and Ubuntu Mobile, and capable of working as a desktop computer when plugged into a large screen. If the $32m total had been hit, Canonical said it would begin providing them from May 2014.
But only Bloomberg came forward as a company prepared to put substantial money into the project, pledging for one of "Enterprise" slots which would have cost $80,000 and given it 115 phones. The majority of funding came from individuals pledging to buy a phone at between $600 (the first-day price, where 5,044 were snapped up) and $830, with a number of prices in between. In the later stages, the per-handset price was set at $695.