Ubuntu appeals for 'superphone' cash

2013-07-23 08:05
Linux Ubuntu is a viable alternative to users who don't feel comfortable with Microsoft's latest version of Windows. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Linux Ubuntu is a viable alternative to users who don't feel comfortable with Microsoft's latest version of Windows. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Linux Ubuntu developer Canonical has launched a public campaign to raise $32m in its quest to build a new device.

The company, founded by South African billionaire Mark Shuttleworth, plans to develop the Ubuntu Edge, billed as a "superphone".

"Ubuntu Edge is the ultimate convergence device - challenging established norms for PCs and smartphones," said Shuttleworth.

The device will combine the convenience of a smartphone with the power of a desktop computer, the company said.

"Ubuntu Edge will be a catalyst for mobile innovation as well as hardware and software development. By supporting Ubuntu Edge, the Indiegogo and Ubuntu communities will be accelerating the adoption of these new technologies in mass-market consumer phones," Canonical said in a statement.

Those who wish to participate in the crowd funded exercise will have to commit $600 on Day 1 of the Indiegogo campaign or $830 in the duration of the campaign.

Desktop PC

Shuttleworth explained why the company was adopting the crowd funded model to produce a new device.

"The crowd funding approach is a new way to prove demand for cutting edge technologies and new classes of device; supporting the Ubuntu Edge is the best way to catalyse the next generation of personal devices from industry."

The company plans for the large screen device to dual boot to Ubuntu phone and Android; have a minimum of 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. It will also sport a sapphire crystal screen and 11.4cm display.

One of the key features of the proposed device is the ability to become a desktop PC when it is docked.

Canonical is confident that the device will stretch the definition of a mobile phone and will deliver a limited run of 40 000 devices by May 2014.

"The rise of smartphones and the recognition that productivity still requires a PC form factor suggest a great opportunity for a truly converged device. This campaign aims to deliver the finished article," said Victor Palau, vice president of Mobile Delivery at Canonical.

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