Canonical's Ubuntu Edge campaign missed its crowd-sourcing goal by a wide margin. Though 12.8 million USD is still a lot, and is by far the highest ever raised via crowd-sourcing, the intended 32 million goal was still a good 19 million away at the end of 30 days campaign. But I don't consider the failure of Ubuntu Edge campaign as a huge setback for Canonical. In my book, it was a risk worth taking. While Ubuntu Edge phone won't be getting made, Canonical CEO has just made it clear that, Ubuntu smartphone mission is still full steam ahead and one can expect the first Ubuntu Touch powered smartphones to arrive by early 2014.
Ubuntu Touch Enabled Smartphones will Arrive by Early 2014
In a recent interview with CNET, Canonical CEO Jane Silber outlined plans for the company to bring an Ubuntu smartphone to market in early 2014. "I think the full Ubuntu convergence experience will not be in the first round of Ubuntu phones, which we're targeting for the first quarter 2014," Silber told CNET. "Just phones, not a full converged plug-into-your-monitor device," she added, stressing, "I think convergence is the future. It may take many forms."
Even the most optimistic of people would have doubted the 32 million USD fund-raising goal set by Canonical, and that too in 30 odd days. But they went ahead anyway. That kind of courage requires a lot of belief in their product. I give them that.
In a market dominated by Android and iOS, I think Ubuntu Touch for phones has its place. But it has to have some USP which will woo users out of their favorite platforms. Blackberry and Microsoft failed miserably in bringing something unique to the market. On the other hand, the whole Ubuntu convergence story is one worth talking. But will that be enough to turn around things for Canonical and Ubuntu? We'll see in an another year or two. Stay tuned.