I think you're right, but the target audience is what probably still explains the delta to expectations. I'd say the existing brand image of Ubuntu comes bundled with enough of freedom and openness so that it's enough to emphasize the other values in the press release. Ie. openness is something that is a pre-condition for making it possible to do some stuff, but it in itself is of no value to the target audience (or anyone) if there not something else of value as well. The word 'free' is mentioned in the the About Canonical section, though.
In the web material on the other hand it's clearly said the code is GPLv2/GPLv3, although with the doubt-causing "generally" word, unless the per-device fees mentioned earlier already made people to run away since they didn't realize it's related to using the trademark, not a software license fee.
But also in the more general case that there would be some proprietary parts somewhere, I welcome all products that bring more of the free software infrastructure to the new sectors like mobile area, to power us to create 100% free products as well like Spark.
This is related to the other discussions in the past like Jon is probably referring to as well. There seems to be a subgroup of people who are vocal about something not being 100% free software, while they are not actually that interested in free as in freedom software but getting companies to serve just them gratis. Likewise here, I don't think we can require Canonical to serve us CyanogenMod images to various devices unless there is a business case there, but if we get code that enables us to integrate Ubuntu to CyanogenMod or Replicant ourselves, then that's a huge service. What I applauded before (https://lwn.net/Articles/467725/) was Corbet's Android 4.0 release article (https://lwn.net/Articles/467464/). It highlighted both the good and the bad of Android. We should more often concentrate on the good and not only the bad that comes from our need to be ever vigilant. And actually mostly now the reaction to Ubuntu for Android has been exactly that, "cool stuff" reaction.
And yes the discussion has digressed pretty far, I wonder if that's good or bad. It's bad in the sense that it gets confusing to understand what's related directly to the article at hand, but good in the sense that wider issues get discussed.