As anticipated, Canonical announced today their Ubuntu Edge smart-phone
. However, details are scarce and they don't even have the hardware specifications ironed out but are first trying to raise financing via crowd-funding.
Canonical launched a IndieGoGo campaign today for crowd-funding of Ubuntu Edge, their first Ubuntu smart-phone device currently aimed for developers. The campaign wants to raise up to $32 million USD in the next month. The perks for crowd-funding are that if you pledge at least $20 you will be listed as a "founder" of Ubuntu Edge, if you pledge at least $600 in the next 24 hours you can get an Ubuntu Edge smart-phone, and if you don't order today the Ubuntu Edge smart-phone will cost you $830.
The Ubuntu Edge phone is meant to be a commercial testbed for the Ubuntu Linux Phone OS. The phone will also be able to dual-boot into Google's Android operating system as an alternative.
The $600 price-tag (or $830 USD after today) is rather high as there is no mobile carrier subsidizing the costs and backing the project. Beyond the high price-tag, the phone's hardware details aren't even fully known and subject to change. The funding page says that the Ubuntu Edge will feature the "fastest multi-core CPU", 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. There will also be a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 HD display, 8MP low-light rear camera and 2MP front camera, dual-LTE and 802.11n connectivity, and the phone dimensions will be 64 x 9 x 124mm. The phone is to be backed by a 28 day warranty.
When connected to a monitor, they want the Ubuntu Edge to effectively double as a PC and be similar to the traditional Ubuntu Linux desktop experience. If they are successful in fundraising, it will be interesting to see how well the device works out and what the battery life is like for such a device.
The expected delivery of the phone is May of 2014, likely with Ubuntu Phone OS 14.04 LTS. The page also states that if they fail to reach their $32 million goal in the next month, "we will focus only on commercially available handsets and there will not be an Ubuntu Edge."
At the time of publishing there's been 18 people so far willing to pay $600 USD for the first Ubuntu Phone OS device. Those wishing to find out more details can go to the IndieGoGo.com Ubuntu Edge page