After a promising start, Canonical's plan to crowdfund $32 million and make an Ubuntu-based smartphone looks to be in trouble, as pledges have slowed significantly. Canonical's response? Introduce new low-price options on a limited basis. The company reached almost $3.4 million (more than 10 percent of its goal) in its first 24 hours, but, as was to be expected, the pledge rate plummeted during the second day of the campaign.
Total funding for the Ubuntu Edge currently stood at just under $3.9 million at 8AM ET, meaning that Canonical has only managed to pull in around $500,000 in pledges over the past 21 hours. To succeed, the company will have to rake in just under $1 million per day from now on.
The new price points stand at $625, $675, and $725, each limited to 1,250 pledges. Originally, Canonical offered the first 5,000 backers a phone at $600, with all further takers having to pay $830 for a chance to own the hypothetical Linux smartphone. Now, 3,750 people have the chance to pick up a cut-price smartphone, while everyone following will need to pay $830 as originally stated. Will that be enough to spark further interest in the Ubuntu Edge?
Update: At 10:30AM ET, the present funding total stands at $4.5 million dollars — it looks as though the new low prices have generated a lot of interest, as almost 1,200 people have signed up for the deals. Even if Canonical sells through all 3,750 of the lower-priced handsets, though, it'll still need to persuade tens of thousands of people to pay up the full price (unless it's to continue offering "limited-edition" pricing tiers). We'll continue tracking the campaign as Canonical creeps towards its lofty goal.