The pitch: And what if your smartphone could also be a full-fledged, mouse-and-keyboard computer?
The goods: The Ubuntu Edge was designed to be powerful enough to be plugged into a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and serve as a highly portable desktop computer. On its own, the Edge ran two different mobile operating systems (OS): the popular Android and Ubuntu’s mobile Linux OS. Put all that in “textured amorphous metal” with “rakishly chamfered edges.” Throw in stereo speakers and a sapphire crystal screen. Garnish with near-universal network compatibility, and you’ve got a piece of early-adopter mythology.
The result: Both wildly successful and a catastrophic failure, the Edge raised $12.8 million, the most money ever given by crowdfunders, on Indiegogo but never hit its ambitious, all-or-nothing $32 million goal. Had Canonical, the company behind the device, managed to raise the full amount, 40,000 Edges would have arrived on the market in 2014. As it stands, similar Ubuntu-based products will start showing up in small batches in 2014. At least the campaign proved that there was a market for a new type of phone. [$695; canonical.com]
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