Thomas Ward of Ubuntu has been the driver behind the effort of making NGINX have a greater presence within Ubuntu. At this time he isn't trying to make NGINX replace Apache as the default web-server, but his initiative is about getting the package into the Ubuntu main archive and hopefully onto the Ubuntu Server images. Additionally, it may involve giving a new tasksel option for users to select NGINX when needing to install a web server.
This hasn't been decided yet whether NGINX will officially take on a greater role within Ubuntu, but a discussion has been started on the Ubuntu Server list.
For those out of the loop, NGINX 1.4 was released last month with many new features. This work comes after two years ago NGINX went through a successful round of VC funding and began having commercial aspirations.