The Ubuntu Edge Is Dead

Nathan Osman's Gravatar

Nathan Osman
published Aug. 4, 2013, 5:49 p.m.

In the past, we (as editors and administrators) have never been afraid to make predictions about things. Granted, the linked example wasn't really a prediction but rather a joke that actually ended up becoming reality. This time we have some more serious numbers to put forward.

The Ubuntu Edge has exactly seventeen days remaining and as of right now, requires over $23 million in order to reach its goal. If this sounds impossible, that's because we basically believe that it is. Therefore:

Prediction: the majority of administrators here at 2buntu hereby predict that the Ubuntu Edge fundraiser will ultimately fail.

I believe this is the case for the following reasons:

  1. Lack of specific details: although some of the hardware details have been finalized, we still don't know, for example, what CPU to expect in the device. Now, I understand that by deferring on a decision, the possibility exists for something new and cutting-edge. However, I'm sure many users simply prefer to know exactly what they're buying ahead of time.

  2. Lack of perks: not everyone can plunk down $700+ for a new phone. Others might be able to given more time. Now please realize that I'm not criticizing the price of the Edge itself which, considering the hardware, is a great value. Many would have liked to back the Edge in return for some smaller form of compensation. A t-shirt was recently added, but sells for a whopping $50. Is this overpriced? Well, only about 500 people have bought one so far.

  3. Lofty goal: probably the single most significant factor of all is simply the sheer size of the goal here. $32 million is a lot. (If you don't think it's a lot, please send some to us!) Although many crowdfunding records have already been broken, there are only so many Ubuntu users who only have so much money.

Now please don't get me wrong. I want the Edge to succeed. It's a ridiculous piece of hardware that I'm sure every Ubuntu user would love to have in their hands. But I won't be buying one - partly due to price and partly due to the fact that as a software developer, I need more than a nice ARM processor even if I can connect it to a full size monitor.