Canonical's heavily publicised Ubuntu Edge smartphone-PC project has failed to reach its crowdfunding target, as its Thursday morning deadline passed $19m short of its $32m target.
The project picked up $2.5m in a week after it was announced that it had secured more pledges than any previous crowdsourced project, beating the $10.3m raised by the Pebble smartwatch on Kickstarter in 2012. In order to obtain any of the money pledged, however, the Edge had to meet its target.
Canonical told V3 earlier this week that if the $32m target was not reached, "there will not be an Ubuntu Edge. The money will be returned to backers and Canonical will continue to focus on bringing Ubuntu to mobile phones with industry partners as planned."
As the deadline passed, the campaign had received $12.8m backing, with 17,215 of the $695 (£444) phones on order.
Last week in a bid to attract smaller businesses, Canonical added a $7,000 10-handset package, including technical support. This offer attracted three buyers.
The Edge was intended to bridge the gap between mobile phones and desktop computers by dual-booting to both Android and Ubuntu's mobile OS. In addition, the device can be plugged into a desktop monitor and can be booted into Ubuntu's full desktop operating system and controlled with a keyboard and mouse.
The firm remained outwardly positive about the outlook of the project as a whole, reiterating last week that "the Ubuntu Edge is already making a difference. This campaign lets enthusiast consumers signal their interest to a mobile industry that caters overwhelmingly to the mainstream. It's making it clear that we're no longer satisfied with minor updates; we're looking for true innovation and we're ready to pay for it. And that message is getting through."
In a post today following the project's failure, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said: "Who knows, perhaps one day we'll take everything we've learned from this campaign – achievements and mistakes – and try it all over again."
The company also confirmed that all money pledged would be refunded via PayPal within five working days.
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