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I would say that anyone who would even consider it remotely desirable to be able to sideload apps has very different desires and expectations about how much they will "fiddle" with their phone to get it working they way they like. In other works, "it always worked just fine" probably means very different things to someone who would want to sideload apps than the average smartphone user who has never even heard of "sideloading."

There are many non fiddler users who use or appreciate the possibility of sideloading/alternative appstores.

I consider myself one of those. I don't run a custom android rom, I haven't even set a custom wallpaper. When I get a new phone I install fdroid and install a set of open source privacy respecting apps I know to work and do exactly what I want.

I like the app store model of having a 3rd party do quality control. I just want the option to select the 3rd party which is best aligned with my interests. Google and Apple do not have my best interests in mind.

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