Ubuntu looks to disrupt smartphone market with $675 device

Arjun Kharpal, special to CNBC.com
Friday, 26 Jul 2013 | 7:25 AM ET
Ubuntu fundraises for PC/smartphone cross
Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical, talks about Ubuntu phone, a cross between a PC and smartphone, which is being financed by crowd funding.

A smartphone-PC hybrid device, funded by the largest ever crowd funding drive is hoping to disrupt the smartphone industry, when it launches next year.

Ubuntu Edge, a smartphone that will use both the Ubuntu open-source phone operating system and Google's Android, can also transform into a PC when connected to a monitor.

The device is being developed by Canonical, which has launched the largest ever crowd funding effort, in hopes of raising $32 million over 30 days.

(Read more: An 'emerging' threat to Samsung, and it's not Apple)

"The point here isn't just to raise money, it's also to demonstrate the need for innovation and the disruption that technology needs," Jane Silber, the CEO of Canonical told CNBC.

The crowd funding doesn't give investors a share in the company, instead it allows them to buy the device. Those who pledge money earlier get the phone for cheaper. In all, 40,000 devices are on offer.

Those who contributed towards the first 1,250 phones, got the device for $675 dollars. Current bidders can buy the phone for $780 before the price rises to $830.

(Read more: These 'smartphone saturation' stats could prove Apple wrong)

So far, Canonical has raised $6.4 million on the crowd funding site Indiegogo, with $3.5 million pledged in the first 24 hours alone.

"We believe people crave this level of innovation," Silber told CNBC.

Sliber told CNBC that "there is a long way to go", but if Canonical hits their target, it could signal an important moment for other technology companies thinking of alternative ways to fund hardware production.


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