Don’t look now, but Canonical’s mobile effort is quietly garnering some impressive support. Verizon Wireless said a few weeks ago that it T-Mobile USA said a few weeks ago that it had joined the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group, and T-Mobile USA this week announced that it is backing the platform. The two U.S. operators are now part of a 12-member coalition that includes Deutsche Telekom, China Unicom and the U.K.’s Everything Everywhere.
Ubuntu Touch has drawn praise as a top-notch mobile platform — it topped Firefox OS to win CNET’s top prize at Mobile World Congress in February — but Canonical has been slow to find carrier and manufacturer partners. Meanwhile, Firefox OS and BlackBerry 10 have come to market with strong industry backing, which is why I’ve been skeptical of Ubuntu’s prospects (as I wrote in this Research Briefing for GigaOM Pro two months ago). But if just a few powerful members of the Advisory Group opt to pursue Ubuntu in a big way, Canonical’s platform has a chance to break away from the pack of also-rans.