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But it has the capacities to be one if you plugged in peripherals.

Again: that doesn't matter. My lawnmower has more power than my first 3 PC's combined and could easily play quake if connected to a keyboard and screen. Not sure what difference that makes to the original question of openness?

The point is if it were open it could do that and then it'd be a general purpose computer.

People were justifying locked down smartphones by saying they're not GP computers.

Factually, if they were open, they could be GP computers. The only reason they aren't is because they are locked in the first place! That justification for locking phones is based on a consequence of them being locked, so it doesn't make sense.

That's the difference it makes.

I disagree. I want my phone to be an appliance, just like my router and TV, even though under the hood all 3 have almost the same hardware (all 3 are ARM Linux machines). I want them to be as simple as possible, and achieve that by minimizing the control surface I have on it. My computer (that has a huge control surface) has that because I'm ready to pay the added overhead to complexity/security - but I don't want that on my phone.

"It's not a computer" by that I mean "I don't want it to be a computer" in the sense that if it had the complexity/risk of a PC I wouldn't buy it in the first place.

That's just the side you take in this openness/simplicity tradeoff and not a good reason for saying smartphones should be locked down in general. There are going to be people who want more open phones or more locked down desktops. Users should have the choice not only with their computers, but also with their phones.

That Apple and Google have taken that from the user is unfortunate and I think there's not much of a case to be made against that. All you've been saying so far boils down to: you don't want an open phone, and because Apple and Google have coincidentally made the same choice for their customers this kind of paternalism is fine by you. Kind of a short sighted position, no?

No I mean it’s the obvious position to take when 99% of customers want it. For all manufacturers. If it was just 80% of customers who wanted it then it would be unfortunate if no manufacturer positioned themselves to cater to the 20% who want a “pc phone”, but since those who want it are (surely?) not even a rounding error in the statistics, I can’t see why it’s unfortunate.

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