After an initial flurry of interest and financial pledges, crowdfunding for Canonical's Ubuntu Edge phone has slowed to a crawl. There's currently $8.7 million raised toward a goal of $32 million, and it's more than halfway through the Indiegogo campaign. Even the late boost that crowdfunding projects often get isn't likely to be enough.
But Canonical still has a few tricks up its sleeve. Today, the company said, "we've been negotiating with several major component suppliers who are keen to see the Edge reach its goal and drive the adoption of new mobile technologies. This is one of the key benefits of keeping some of the core specifications open: as a result of these negotiations, we can now produce the same state-of-the-art device for less than we originally estimated."
Because of that lower cost of manufacturing, Canonical is fixing the price of the Edge at $695 and eliminating the limits on quantities available. A one-year subscription to LastPass, a password management service, is included in the price. The Edge price was $600 for first-day backers, with any backers thereafter initially asked to pledge $830 to reserve a phone. Canonical quickly introduced new pricing levels at $625, $675, $725, and $775, but it placed limits on how many phones could be purchased at each level.
With the price now fixed and no limits on buying, Canonical said that "anyone who’s already pledged more than $695 for the phone will be offered a refund of the difference." The company claims that Ubuntu Edge will be exclusive to the Indiegogo campaign and not "available to buy anywhere outside of this campaign, even at launch."