Bloomberg has pledged $80,000 (over £53,000) towards the Ubuntu Edge dual OS smartphone crowdfunding campaign, though the funding round may still ultimately fail with no phones ever being made.
However, Bloomberg is the most significant corporate backer so far, so Canonical, the distributor of Ubuntu Linux will be hopeful its efforts will ultimately succeed.
Bloomberg, the financial information, analytics and news group, has pledged $80,000 in exchange for the Enterprise 100 perk, which includes a batch of 100 Ubuntu Edge devices and access to a range of Canonical workshops and technical support, bringing Ubuntu for Android into the workplace.
“Bloomberg supports open innovation and initiatives, such as Ubuntu Edge, that align with our software development and business priorities,” said Shawn Edwards, chief technology officer at Bloomberg LP.
“With this investment, Bloomberg developers will contribute to an open technology initiative that could benefit our clients and have a powerful impact on the future of mobile computing.”
Justin Erenkrantz, head of web architecture, a division of Bloomberg LP’s CTO office, said: “Bloomberg’s developers are already designing and building software for advanced devices because our clients demand a seamless experience from the desktop to the mobile platform.”
“Ubuntu’s goal to offer a single-device solution for enterprise convergence and mobility is an exciting prospect and one that complements our vision for open development on the mobile platform.”
The Ubuntu Edge will enter production for delivery in May 2014, if $32 million (£21.3 million) is raised by the 21 August deadline on the IndieGoGo crowdfunding site, and it won’t be available to buy through retail outlets.
However, analysts have said the Ubuntu Edge crowdfunding effort is destined for failure, after the number of advance backers and buyers of the phone slowed to a "snail's pace".
Jason Waddell and Willem Ligtenberg, of statistical consulting company Open Analytics, predicted the Ubuntu Edge campaign will only raise between $18m (£12 million) and $22m (£14.6 million), after it hit a funding "trough".
To come to their conclusion they used stats gleaned from rival crowdfunding site Kickstarter, to illustrate why the Ubuntu Edge will not get off the ground. They said Kickstarter projects that have taken off have avoided huge dips in the middle of a funding cycle, which have been seen by the Ubuntu Edge smartphone on IndieGoGo.
The analysts said "would-be backers are turned-off by Canonical’s incremental pricing structure". They said, "As the price of securing a phone has ticked from $600 (£400) to the present value of $775 (£520), backing has slowed to a snail’s pace."
That said, with the publicity generated by the Bloomberg entry into the funding campaign, Ubuntu Edge may still be able to make it.