"Ubuntu puts the control back into the hands of our partners"
You can interpret what Mark Shuttleworth said as a WIN for manufacturers and telecom companies, but it doesn't necessarily make it a LOSE situation for USERS. It will be a win for the USERS if the phone itself competes with Apple hardware style, at an Apple Price point with a Linux Desktop Digital Freedom/Digital Privacy expectations.
There are differences of opinion as to what the developer tools should be for the Ubuntu Touch Phone for certain. As it stands, Ubuntu is pushing QT/QML as the hammer for every application being a nail. I'm not keen on this. The choice of toolset should be consistent with the desktop choice because that's what UBUNTU's current user/developer base are accustomed to. I have witnessed most of their tools being compiled for the Ubuntu Touch system, but they have yet to be debugged so there is hope on that front for all the desktop tools to come to Ubuntu Touch. If that happens that will be a big win for all LINUX Users from any LINUX flavor. I'm a touchy feely kind of guy however. I want to try it before I buy it. That's why I bought the Nexus 4 and have a dual-booting Android Kitkat/Ubuntu Touch phone and Android wins hand-down right now with key features. Android's coolest feature is hotspot wifi, but Currents, Firefox(Google Search), TuneIn, Youtube and Dramafever are by far my household's favourites. I can setup my phone as a wifi-hotspot for my netbook when I'm away from home while listening to a tunein stream on the phone itself. I can currently use mobile data with Android. My phone certainly doesn't replace my laptop or desktop that's certain. It's just a complementary accessory. As a last resort having my phone handy with a mini bluetooth keyboard could be ok, but not for all-day usage. Bose Mini-Link Speakers are a godsend to my ears when they are connected via bluetooth to our android phones. If these capabilities are found on the Ubuntu Touch, then it's a no-brainer decision because Android can be replaced. I hope that GNOME comes to Ubuntu Touch. I don't know about other users, but I would love to see it replace unity everywhere altogether.
Google still wins from this because AOSP reference point hardware license IMHO is still in effect. That means if you buy an Ubuntu Touch Phone, odds are it will come in a dual-boot Android/Ubuntu setup as a default. Everybody wins because everybody gets a piece of the $$$ pie and the USERS get their DIGITAL FREEDOM/DIGITAL PRIVACY.