Canonical lowers cost of Ubuntu smartphone in bid to reach crowdfunding goal

The price cut was made possible thanks to lower production costs

Canonical has lowered the price of its Ubuntu smartphone to US$695 from $775 in a bid to reach its lofty $32 million crowdfunding goal in the next two weeks.

As of Thursday morning, the Indiegogo campaign for the Linux-powered Edge smartphone had received pledges for about $8.6 million. Canonical still has a long way to go, but is optimistic that it can raise the funds.

"The target is still $32 million, so we will need to ship a few more phones at $695 than we would at a higher price, but we believe we can do it. We have two weeks, and we have the best community out there," the company said on the campaign's website.

The lower price will also be available to people who have already pledged more. At the end of the campaign, anyone who's pledged more than $695 will be offered a refund for the difference. The price cut has been possible thanks to better deals with component makers, according to Canonical.

The smartphone's specs haven't been finalized, as Canonical wants to wait for as long as possible to ensure the best available components, it said. But the company has revealed that the Edge will tentatively have a 4.5-inch screen with a 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution and users will be able to boot to either Ubuntu or Android. The device will also have at least 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

If the campaign is successful, the Edge is expected to ship next May. The smartphone will only be available to Indiegogo backers, Canonical emphasized. The company will receive funds pledged to the campaign only if at least $32 million is raised by the deadline.

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