They think they can, they think they can, they think they can...
Electronista reports that Canonical has adjusted its Indiegogo campaign for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone again to generate more high-dollar pledges. The company is now offering the smartphone for $695 instead of its full $830 price as originally set when the Ubuntu Edge Indiegogo project launched on July 22. Currently, there are 12 days left, and Canonical has only managed to generate just under $9.3 million out of the project's $32 million goal.
Late last month the company added new tiers after breaking the $4 million barrier at the initial $600 "introductory" day-one level. These included tiers priced at $625, $675, and $725, each with a 1,250-unit limit. Eventually, the $775, $780 and $790 tiers were introduced, in addition to the $830 tier which allowed for an unlimited number of units. By July's end, the project's momentum had slowed substantially, and Canonical’s Gustavo Niemeyer confirmed that the project was behind schedule.
Currently, only three levels will secure an Ubuntu Edge smartphone: $695, $10,000 and $80,000. All other tiers, including the $830 offering, have been removed. The $80,000 tier has been updated from 100 to 115 Ubuntu Edge phones and thirty days of online support, whereas the $10,000 tier serves up one of the first 50 numbered Ubuntu Edge devices.
"Thanks to major industry backing, we're setting a special price until the end of the campaign," the new $695 tier reads. "This is the only place to get the Ubuntu Edge. [It] comes with a one-year subscription to LastPass Premium and a place on the Ubuntu Edge Founders page."
Currently, the Ubuntu Edge is slated to offer a dual-boot feature, allowing the user to load up either Ubuntu Mobile or Android. However, when docked with a monitor, the phone will transform into a full Ubuntu desktop. Because of this, not only will it need the latest and fastest components, but 128 GB of storage by default. The company also expects to use a quad-core SoC and at least 4 GB of RAM.
There's talk that Shuttleworth himself may make a donation to the project from his personal bank account. That rumor stems from Linux Action Show pundit Matt Hartley who mused that the Ubuntu founder has a "press release or something up his sleeve." He supposedly has "some big bang" to shoot off towards the end, pushing the final funds over the target amount.
For those merely wanting to back the project and not receive a phone, Canonical offers three additional budget tiers: Founder ($20), Forgot International Shipping ($30) and Founder with Style ($50). The second tier is for those who signed up for the first tier, but forgot to add shipping for outside countries. The $50 tier serves up an Ubuntu Edge T-Shirt and a place on the Founders page.
The estimated delivery of the Ubuntu Edge phone is May 2014.