Canonical’s crowd-funded smartphone project raised more than $3.5 million in about a day, but the vast majority of folks who pledged to back the project did so at around the $600 mark. That’s the price early adopters could pay to be among the first to get their hands on an Ubuntu Edge phone if and when they ship in May, 2014.

But Canonical made that a limited-time offer. It was only available for one day, and for the first 5,000 people to pledge $600 or more. Everyone else had to pledge at least $830 to get a phone.

Now that the crowd-funding campaign is a few days old, the company is offering new, cheaper options.

ubuntu Edge

Instead of pledging $830 to reserve a phone, the new pledge levels start at $625. That’s a limited time offer too though. Canonical has a plan to encourage folks to pledge early with a rolling set of goals.

Right now the first 1250 people to pledge at $625 or $675 levels can reserve a phone. Once those rewards are used up, the next pricing level opens up.

The whole thing should let more than 30,000 people reserve phones below the eventual list price of $830 — assuming all of the pledge slots fill up.

edge pledge

The move makes sense — it’s a lot easier to stomach paying $625 for a phone than $830. But if you look at the Ubuntu Edge’s hardware, $830 doesn’t seem unreasonable. It could be one of the first phones to ship with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and it’ll feature a sapphire crystal scratch-resistant display.

Canonical has already offered partial refunds to folks that pledged $830 before the new pledge levels were available.

It’s also designed to be one of the first phones that dual boots Ubuntu and Android, and which can function as a full-fledged desktop PC. Just connect it to a docking station, hook up a mouse, keyboard, and monitor and you can run Ubuntu Linux desktop apps on a big screen.

Of course, like other crowd-funding projects, it’s important to keep in mind that this product doesn’t actually exist yet. If Canonical doesn’t reach its $32 million fundraising goal, the project will be scrapped. And even if it does reach the goal, there’s no guarantee that the phone will ship or have all the promised features if and when it does.

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9 replies on “Ubuntu Edge smartphone/PC gets new, cheaper options”

  1. I’m hoping for this to succeed but I don’t adopt things this early. I’ll probably have an Ubuntu phone after 2 years when, hopefully, it has matured enough in my eyes. I remember the G1 during the early days of Android and it sucked hard. I didn’t rely on it as a real phone. Just a thing to play around with at home.

  2. What they promise is great, but will the follow through be there? Even if it isn’t the VERY upper echelon, the phone should still be great. I’m thinking that 675 for a top-tier phone that’s unlocked is a pretty good deal even if I’m only using it to boot android.

  3. Perpetual bait and switch? I am sure the people pledging $830 will not be pleased. I like these type of crowd sourced projects but this is too risky for me and the cost is way too high for this type of speculation.

      1. But is it slightly unethical to “We’ll refund the difference at the end of the campaign so you won’t lose out” when they’ve taken the money upfront and then changed the perks 24 hours later? Personally I think it fairer to refund immediately.

        1. I think that this is the only way that they can do it without risking a loss of money the way that indiegogo works.

        2. The money is at the hands of Indiegogo. Ubuntu can’t refund the money immediately.

  4. I’m going to wait to see what “fastest multi-core CPU” actually means.

    1. Why wait??? They will use a top tier processor – they have to if they want their phone to act as a desktop.

      I can also promise you that a month before or after they will actually ship the edge there will be some other phone with a better CPU.

      There is actually no point to wait about a year for a phone if you already know its processor.

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