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Canonical misses Ubuntu Edge crowdfunding target by over $19m

Despite breaking the record for most ever raised by a crowdfunding campaign, Canonical has missed its Ubuntu Edge target (opens in new tab) by over $19 million (£12 million).

Not even some last minute tweets of support from Stephen Fry to his six million followers was enough to give the campaign the boost it needed; the final figure raised was $12.8 million (£8.2 million), a huge amount, but still a far cry from the $32 million (£20.5 million) that was sought after.

Under the terms of the campaign, Canonical will not receive any of the money as the funds would only have been transferred if the target was met. Paypal will now refund all pledgers their money.

"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," said Canonical in a statement.

"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."

All is not lost however as Canonical added that Ubuntu phones will start to arrive in 2014. Rather than being built and designed by Canonical themselves, it looks like they will be created by partner manufacturers in a similar way to how Mozilla has teamed up with ZTE (opens in new tab) and Alcatel (opens in new tab) to create the new Firefox OS (opens in new tab) smartphones.

"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," Canonical said.

"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."

Tomas is co-founder of Lucky Pilgrim, a team of journalists, photographers and art directors who connect brands to audiences through words, imagery and design. He was formerly editorial director at Chapel and managing editor at Courier magazine, and was a writer for ITProPortal as well as The Independent, EastLondonLines, The Sunday Times Magazine, and Croon.