Ubuntu Edge smartphone project still $20 million short

person building piles of gold coins that get larger as they go on

A crowd funding campaign to help Canonical develop its Ubuntu Edge smartphone has smashed records in amassing $10,288,472 (about 6.6 million) in pledges - beating the previous crowd funding record set by the Pebble smart watch last year.

However, the campaign is still around $20 million short of the goal of $32 million and it has just six days left to raise the remaining funds. Should Canonical fail, it will have to return any money pledged to the project.

"When we started this campaign three weeks ago, we hoped it would resonate with our community. So, to break the world record for a crowd funding campaign is absolutely mind-blowing," said Jane Silber, Canonical chief executive.

"We felt that innovation had substantially slowed down in the mobile industry, so wanted to address this. We're still astonished by the generosity of our community and will continue to do all we can to make the Ubuntu Edge a reality."

The smartphone, if built, will sport a 4.5in, 1,280 x 720 HD display. Instead of a glass touch screen, it would have one made from pure sapphire crystal. The phone would also feature an eight megapixel camera on the rear and a two megapixel one on the front and the handset would be capable of running Ubuntu operating system as well as Google Android.

A pledge of $695 would see backers get their own Ubuntu Edge smartphone. Last week, Bloomberg offered up $80,000 for the campaign as an enterprise backer. Canonical is now hoping that a more backers come out of the woodwork in the next few days to save the project.

The project, if successful, will see the firm develop a smartphone that can also be used as a desktop computer. It was looking to launch on the market in May 2014.

The firm is now considering whether to extend the campaign if significant new funding through the site is not forthcoming in the remaining days.

At the time of publication the US and UK were the top two nations in terms of donating to the project,

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.