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Ubuntu Edge Smartphone Funding Trends Low 251

Posted by timothy
from the hard-pace-to-maintain dept.
alphadogg writes "The first heady rush of support for Canonical's crowd-funded Ubuntu Edge smartphone appears to have tapered off, as donations for the eye-catching device have slowed substantially over the past several days. The project sits just above the $7 million mark at the time of this writing – a large sum by the standards of crowd-funded projects, to be sure, but the $32 million goal is still a long way off. The Edge is slightly, but measurably, behind schedule – by about $600,000, according to a tracking graph made by Canonical's Gustavo Niemeyer. However, there's speculation that wealthy Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth might contribute some of his personal fortune to the project." The campaign has already broken records with its spectacular first few days. I hope that Shuttleworth does kick in to make production feasible, because the idea and the design are impressive — but I'm leery of spending quite so much on any phone.
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Ubuntu Edge Smartphone Funding Trends Low

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  • Cheaper Options.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ZiakII (829432) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:30AM (#44422329)
    They really should of introduced some cheaper options. Like support the Ubuntu Edge for $60 and get a Ubuntu T-Shirt. Possibly include some other options that are not a staggering $700+ for most people.
  • by Bradmont (513167) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:32AM (#44422345)
    While this looks to be a great phone, the crowdfunding campaign is about a lot more than getting a cool phone; it's about proving an idea: that there is a market for special-run, innovative devices. If they succeed, they could seriously change the way phones are produced, and we could see an influx of really cool hardware projects in the future. This is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the opin hardware movement. While using open hardware is not a goal of this project, if they manage to succeed, we could see something similar for fully open smartphones not too far down the road. Shuttleworth said in his Reddit AMA that this might be an idea for the next iteration (though I wouldn't put too much stock in that). However, if the concept is proven, others could follow suit pretty quick. So, it's not so much $800 for a cool phone, but an $800 investment in the future of computing.
  • by Bollie (152363) <slashdot.jangutter@com> on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:01AM (#44422689) Homepage

    RANT COMMENCING!

    I have serious doubts that Canonical is able to deliver on this: they do not have a history of delivering top-notch software, unless you count their press-releases and boundless enthusiasm as software.

    Aside from a few interesting things (upstart being among the few projects adopted outside of Ubuntu), they've basically decided to ignore whatever the rest of the community is doing and implement their own (buggy) stuff which is "better". Canonical's stuff makes GNOME3 look usable. That takes some doing.

    Aside from my doubts about their ability, I also find the concept deeply flawed. Cheap support infrastructure does not currently exist for a dockable phone. Sure, you can use it as a desktop, you just need to buy a dock that you carry around, or a dock for every desk you usually use. Sure, you can use it as a phone, you just need a bluetooth headset that you have to keep charged when you're using it as a desktop. Sure, it's dual-boot, it just means that you can't phone or use the desktop when you switch modes. Sure it can do all of the above, but you have no battery life.

    People who need to navigate and use their phone a lot tend to have TWO devices: a GPS or built-in satnav an a phone. Convergence is a great idea, but you're going to pay a lot in battery life for all those features. Running out of juice is NOT FUN these days.

    It appears Shuttleworth is trying to emulate companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google by doing the opposite of what used to be done in the spirit of Linux. The copyright clause in all Canonical software, Mir, forking GNOME into Unity and the doublespeak pouring out of the community spokesdrones have been in stark contrast to the early days of Debian, Slackware and open culture. Maybe he really believes he's Steve Jobs and Bill Gates reincarnated and rolled into one: I really think he's got the remorselessness of the one and the ruthlessness of the other.

    I believe Ubuntu has single-handedly done more to bring down the quality of Linux on the desktop than any other distro.

    I believe the reason Ubuntu is so successful is because of marketing. NOT because of technical quality. This is why I believe that the human race is getting stupider every year. Ah well.

    RANT CONCLUDED!

  • Re:Shuttleworth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Burz (138833) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:22AM (#44422973) Journal

    It behooves us to also consider whether Shuttleworth's track record and vision are impacting the level of enthusiasm. The Ubuntu desktop isn't exactly a breathtaking achievement in the eyes of most computer users. I use it daily, and I like some of the changes they are making in BAU for Linux desktops. But Unity is a dog's breakfast just laying there waiting to slip-up users as soon as they step foot over the threshold.

    The other major fault from the standpoint of the consumer is they are still a "distro" and as such have what I call distro-itis. They are expected to sit in front of Ubuntu/Mint/Fedora/etc and think, "Hey I'm using Linux!" Then comes the inevitable schooling on different package formats, staying away from apps not coded for your "flavor"s UI toolkit and DE, and the lovely excuses about regression defects causing visual, audio and even keyboard failures are fault of "upstream, not us". I'm dealing with one such keyboard failure in the Ubuntu 13.04 lock screen now, on a Linux certified Thinkpad no less. (Keyboard failures I've had with Windows and Mac over the decades are absolutely zero.)

    If I were to give advice to anyone wanting to create a consumer-level OS using FOSS, I would tell them to regard the existing software base as a "gift" of sorts, but by all means take full responsibility for the vision and finished product. And also banish "Linux" from any marketing description of the OS: When I buy a car, I do not want to see the brand of transmission or fuel injectors mixed-in with the branding of my prospective vehicles... save that for the spec sheets.

  • Binary blobs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vargad (1948686) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:58PM (#44428379)
    They are talking about openness, open device, open source, but they plan to use closed source binary blobs. I can't see the point. I won't support this project, and no one should unless they produce truly open system.

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