Yes, but ubuntu phone is able to use the android blob driver. Also, these devices don't have bioses that can let you boot from external memory and install a new operating system. Someone has to unlock the damn thing linke what CWM does by some black magic i don't realy understand. Also, even if you get to install a mainstrem linux on them, the device's "periferals", such as giroscopes, cameras, modem, gps and so on also need drivers.
Obviously there is some way to accomplish all of the abov, CM is proof of it, but that only happens on very popular devices which have high developer interest. Thus, unless intel wins some really high profile designs, I wouldn't expect much.
the main problem is the graphics cards drivers.. for the rest i found that the guys at CyanogenMod and XDA are quite capable of making a phone running almost everything, but the graphic drivers are a show-stopper. For god sake, the guy isn't even asking for true open source drivers, all he's asking is that qualcomm give license to third party to be able to release drivers.