We’ve seen Ubuntu Touch running on a few smartphones, mostly Nexus devices, but the OS has so far been little more than a proof of concept. It does run and “work” on some hardware, but there has been little talk of an actual Ubuntu smartphone that would be released to consumers.
Still, there seems to be a future for the Linux-based mobile OS. Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, has created the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group, which is designed to allow cellular networks to work with Canonical in the development and deployment of Ubuntu Touch. While many European carriers had signed on to the group, there wasn’t a US carrier on the list until today.
In an important step for the Ubuntu Touch project, Verizon finally joined the Advisory Group, giving Ubuntu Touch a massive boost in US backing. While joining the group is no commitment to produce or carry a Ubuntu Touch smartphone, it does do a number of things that are beneficial to the Ubuntu Touch project. Most importantly, it gives the project more legitimacy from a big name US company. It also will allow Ubuntu Touch more publicity. Remember how Verizon launched Android into the spotlight? Depending on how things progress from here, the company may do the same thing for Ubuntu touch.
Of course, while this does give the project a boost, there still aren’t any plans for Ubuntu Touch hardware, at least that have been revealed. Also, there are no timelines whatsoever for a release, so much of the Ubuntu Touch project is still in the theoretical stage. All we can do right now is test out the software on a few devices, and hope that Verizon’s support helps push the project forward.[OMG!Ubuntu]