OK, so Android is open source (technically) and therefore free to use. And unlike with Windows Phone there isn't a tightly regulated minimum spec keeping hardware makers on the straight and narrow.
But despite that, we still tend to think of new releases of Android just like incremental increases in hardware spec. In other words, Ice Cream Sandwich devices are more high-end than Gingerbread devices. One component maker, however, is showing that there's no need for that to be the case.
Chipset maker MediaTek may not run in the same circles as the Nvidias, ARMs and Intels of this world, but it's got a decent enough pedigree at the more budget-conscious end of the market all the same.
And its latest creation, the Cortex-A9-based MT6575, keeps up the good work, and throws in Android 4.0 support for good measure. It's only a single-core solution, while the GPU is an unspecified 5-series PowerVR effort, but that's still strong enough to handle qHD-resolution displays and process 720p video and 8-megapixel stills.
In other words, it could comfortably power a modest low-end Android handset – with the latest build of Android on board from launch.
We love the idea that theoretically a sub-£100 smartphone could launch next month running Ice Cream Sandwich, but you do have to wonder how Google would feel.
Just as the most basic BMW or Merc money can buy don't offer anything like the luxury or performance you typically expect from such prestigious name, so we imagine the Big G wouldn't be too chuffed to have its latest OS pride and joy associated with painfully slow hardware that is only just able to get out of the starting blocks.
Then again, isn't that part of what being open source (technically) is all about?