Here's Ubuntu's farewell message. Makes me wonder of this wasn't really just a ploy to do some market research, "test the waters," generate some press buzz, and mobilize some unpaid evangelists (ala Apple) with that ridiculous $32 million target they set. I'm half convinced Shuttleworth really didn't
want it to fly - and priced the campaign accordingly. Especially since they're using this campaign to bolster their position with certain hardware manufacturers to build Ubuntu-based phones. Also interesting is their comment about how they'll be personally contacting their "biggest referrers" in the upcoming weeks. Sweetheart deals, or job offers, anyone?
Canonical posted an announcement 4 days ago
So ends a crazy month. We’ve broken records, we’ve been written and talked about across the world, we’ve worn out our F5 keys, and we’ve learned a lot of invaluable lessons about crowdfunding. Our bold campaign to build a visionary new device ultimately fell short, but we can take away so many positives.
We raised $12,809,906, making the Edge the world’s biggest ever fixed crowdfunding campaign. Let’s not lose sight of what an achievement that is. Close to 20,000 people believed in our vision enough to contribute hundreds of dollars for a phone months in advance, just to help make it happen. It wasn’t just individuals, either: Bloomberg LP gave $80,000 and several smaller businesses contributed $7,000 each. Thank you all for getting behind us.
Then there’s the Ubuntu community. Many of you gave your time as well as money, organising your own mailing lists, social media strategies and online ads, and successfully reaching out to your local media. We even saw entire sites created to gather information and help promote the Edge. We’ll be contacting our biggest referrers personally.
Most importantly, the big winner from this campaign is Ubuntu. While we passionately wanted to build the Edge to showcase Ubuntu on phones, the support and attention it received will still be a huge boost as other Ubuntu phones start to arrive in 2014. Thousands of you clearly want to own an Ubuntu phone and believe in our vision of convergence, and rest assured you won’t have much longer to wait.
All of the support and publicity has continued to drive our discussions with some major manufacturers, and we have many of the world’s biggest mobile networks already signed up to the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group. They’ll have been watching this global discussion of Ubuntu and the need for innovation very closely indeed. Watch this space!
As for crowdfunding, we believe it’s a great way to give consumers a voice and to push for more innovation and transparency in the mobile industry. And who knows, perhaps one day we’ll take everything we’ve learned from this campaign -- achievements and mistakes -- and try it all over again.
Thank you all
Mark Shuttleworth, the Ubuntu Edge team and everyone at Canonical
P.S. We’ve been assured by Paypal that all refunds will be processed within five working days.
It's all just a little too neat...