This guest post was written by Amrisha Prashar, Campaign and Social Media Manager across the devices division at Canonical.
Some of you may remember the Ubuntu Edge Indiegogo campaign back in 2013, where an audacious $32 million goal was set in order to build the next generation of personal computing. Ubuntu Edge intended to combine smartphone and desktop PC in one state-of-the-art device. Although the ambitious target wasn’t met, over $12 million was raised by 27K contributors across 125 countries, breaking crowdfunding records of all time.
Innovation and Crowdfunding
If we had to sum up the experience in three words, it would be crazy, exhilarating and eye-opening. We didn’t anticipate the rapid growth of the campaign and to generate so much interest from industry, consumers and media for the Ubuntu phone and idea of convergence.
We opted to crowdfund the idea as it’s an excellent way to understand the demand, foster innovation and speed up the time-to-market for new products in a more transparent way. The discussions, networking and comments we received were invaluable, making us realise the more open the industry becomes, the better products consumers will get in their hands. We even had consumers setting up their own crowdfunding projects in order to raise money to buy the phone!
We knew from the outset that the goal was ambitious, but we wanted to give consumers a more direct say into the types of devices they want and when, as well as breaking the ‘norm’ of annual phone releases that incur big margins. As a platform, Indiegogo felt like the ideal fit with its strong history of bringing innovative projects to market.
Learning From Our Crowdfunding Campaign
Since that record-breaking campaign in 2013, developments have been made on a different product in the same space to serve the need for innovation.
At Canonical, we entered the mature mobile ecosystem with the first commercially available device known as the Ubuntu Phone. The new OS was launched in collaboration with partner handset manufacturers, BQ and Meizu, earlier this year with the aim of changing the ecosystem game.
The current OS models are fragmented through services hidden behind apps. Year on year minimal increments are made by the dominant players, but nothing radical, which leads to a vicious cycle of consumer reliance on the traditional app model. We need more bespoke and curated experiences where content is accessed through default personalisable screens, not something you have to open up and control. We believe the time has come for new innovation in the space, hence why we have introduced the new Ubuntu Phone OS.
It’s time to bring something fresh to the market: the new Ubuntu Phone OS.
Ubuntu Phone OS
The innovative new OS encourages consumers to realign their mindset from thinking that apps are integral to the mobile experience to a better solution. Plenty of information exists about what people do in their ‘digital life’ and this has been gathered to bring a suite of key digital life services to the screen known as Scopes. Scopes are integral to the OS as they aggregate information around a particular passion point topic and allow you to access information within this topic in a faster, richer and less fragmented manner.
Ubuntu doesn’t dictate technology needs to developers. The open source, community-led approach means the OS has evolved organically thanks to the enthusiasm of the community, ease in time and lower cost to build Scopes.
The Ubuntu Edge campaign beat crowdfunding records, and introduced new technology to the market in a way no one else in the phone industry has done before. The success of the campaign demonstrated the appetite for something different from the smartphone experience as well as allowing us to acquire a new database of fans. Taking this demand and creating a commercially available product with the Ubuntu Phone has made this a reality, by breaking down barriers in the mobile user experience and ecosystem development. The community has been integral in this through showing demand and contributing to the growth of the ecosystem. As partnerships continue and market expansion takes place, we hope the value of the Ubuntu Phone prospers.
To learn more about the Ubuntu Phone, see here: www.ubuntu.com/phone
Want to set a new crowdfunding record with your great idea? Download the free Indiegogo Field Guide to learn everything you need to know.
Wow! If I’m starting a crowdfunding campaign, I should be doing it as successful as this.
i decided today that i will stop using my ubuntu phone. it is a piece of shit. the bluetooth is still useless, the galery is unreachable, the scope concept is basically means embedded broswer, you cannot choose between broswers, often freezes, during calls suddenly the ringtune just starting to play, useless. did not worth it. So for you it is a luck that you were left out here, for me a 200eur loss.
This is nonsense. The current Ubuntu Phones are a pretty weak proposal compared to what Canonical promised with Ubuntu Edge. Moreover: Ubuntu for Phones isn’t gettint much better months later. I’ve tested it, I’ve written about it (I’m tech editor at Xataka), and the situation is sad but real: Ubuntu for Phones is far behind other platforms in many ways.
Microsoft has taken that idea and it show its new Lumia phones with that unified experience and the “responsive behaviour” next October 6th, so they’ve won this race (we’ll see if that is useful to compete agains the iOS/Android duopoly), and I don’t see Canonical and Ubuntu being able to compete anymore.
Hopefully you’ll make me shut up my mouth with forthcoming announcements. I would love that, because I pledge for Ubuntu Edge with great expectations. Now, dissapointed, I face the reality as I see it currently.
Good luck with the future. Ubuntu Phone is mostly useless -not that bad if you’re a heavy Ubuntu user- right now.
To dwell on past success to long may make you a prisoner of it.
As the first poster says USA #1 supporter and seems it will be the last to get a Ubuntu phone. Sad
We where supposed to find out about a USA oem making ubuntu phone in June. Conanical you need to communicate better.
This is and open source OS right? It’s okay to ask for help then. Just get us a fricking phone!
Tmobile is a hungery brand and they were on your advisory group
If the phone does calling, sms, mms and has a working browser I am okay with you filling in the rest as I go.
“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.”
― F.W. Dupee
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
― Frank Zappa
too little too late, you missed the boat
All these words and pictures just to spam us with https://www.ubuntu.com/phone link… yay!
They just wanted Buzz in The Media, go fuk yourself Canonical, I still use Ubuntu, but I do not trust u guys anymore.
If Canonical is real about it the crowdfunding should be done just for porting the OS to all the phones, forget about becoming another hardware manufacturer just make all the hardware work with the OS!! I’ll bet they will collect sufficient funds to do that if they want.
I have to say that I have pledged to Ubuntu Edge campaign only because it was supposed to run Android with Ubuntu on Android. I had and have no interest in Ubuntu Phone which I consider a waste of resources on Canonical part.
The most appealing thing of the Ubuntu Edge for me was the ability to be used as a PC and this is not possible with the current Ubuntu Phone
I really wanted the ability to use it as a desktop and a phone, it would have been a huge step forward and a real game-changer. I feel bad about not wanting to be an early adapter of this – which is an OS with too few apps, on a series of bargain-basement phones.
For those still looking for a phone/PC, here is this current Indiegogo campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/symetium-the-no-compromise-smartphone-pc
Let me get this straight…People in the United States pledged the most amount of money yet other countries are already getting Ubuntu Phones and we’re left out?? How does that make any sense at all?