Canonical confirms that Ubuntu Touch will be ready for October 17th
The aim has always been to make sure that Ubuntu Touch is ready for use on smartphones as part of the Ubuntu 13.10 update, and it looks like that is right on the mark. Canonical has confirmed as part of its Ubuntu Phone Team Mailing List that the software will indeed be ready to go when Ubuntu 13.10 is released on October 17th.
Of course, that doesn't mean that there will be actual phones on the market next month. The software will be a full 1.0 release, and if you have a compatible device, you will be able to install the software. Right now, the only officially supported phones are the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4. Official tablet support will be coming in April with Ubuntu 14.04. However, the community has unofficially added support for a few dozen more devices.
Ubuntu Touch isn't expected to be seen on retail hardware until January 2014 at the earliest. It is unclear whether or not the Ubuntu Software Center will be up and running on Ubuntu Touch next month, or if we will have to wait longer to get third party apps on the platform. *Update* According to Canonical's Pat McGowan, third party apps through the Ubuntu Software Center will not be available until there is an official hardware release, but Canonical is taking submissions for apps now.