Canonical begins crowdfunding for Ubuntu/Android smartphone

Canonical has launched a crowdfunding page on Indiegogo for a new dual-boot Android and Ubuntu smartphone called the Ubuntu Edge, with a $US32 million target set for the project.

The Linux publisher and cloud computing company claims the new device will be aimed at the high end of the market, and be able to transition from being an Android smartphone to an Ubuntu desktop by being plugged into a deck.

“[Ubuntu Edge will be] a low-volume, high-technology platform, crowdfunded by enthusiasts and mobile computing professionals – a pioneering project that accelerates the adoption of new technologies and drives them down into the mainstream,” the company states.

“Next-generation hardware deserves innovative software. The Ubuntu Edge will dual-boot both the Ubuntu phone OS and Android, and convert [when docked] into a fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC.”

The company also promises a multi-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 HD sapphire crystal display, an 8 megapixel low-light rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera, Dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4 and NFC.

“Crafted from cool, textured amorphous metal, the Edge has a distinctive, precise look but its rakishly chamfered edges are shaped to fit naturally in the palm – our design prototype already has a wonderfully solid feel,” Canonical states.

Aside from Android compatibility, the company promises developers HTML5 and Qt compatibility, meaning the device should, in theory, be able to run apps coded for Firefox OS and Jolla with minimal modification.

Despite a release date of May 2014, the project has already reached $US2 million of its $US32 million target, including two people pledging $US10,000 for a “VIP package”, 3157 pledging $US600 to buy a smartphone, and 524 pledging $US20 to claim a spot as a project “founder”.

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