"Regarding Amarok developers and others, and your iPod Touch, the ability to upload music to the Apple devices depends on whether the lock-down system has been overridden or not,"
If you insist on using anything but iTunes, sure.
"Regarding your listed features, you can actually remote-control your media-center with it (ReMoko for example), and can use the device as a "Bluetooth mouse""
I just checked the Remoko-video (I didn't know that Freerunner uses a stylus. yuch), and it seems like it's more about remote-controlling a computer, as opposed to being a straightforward media-remote. There's a world of difference between the two.
"I'm surprised at the amount of people on LWN who concentrate on just the what-the-user-gets-now instead of the benefits of actual freedom of usage instead of vendor lock-in."
What do yuo expect to tell people when they ask you "so, what's in it for me?"?. Do you tell them that "at some point in the future, you might get a benefit A, B, and C"?. At that point they would tell you that "I already have those benefits in my phone".
Besides, running Linux on the iPhone is all about removing that vendor lock-in.
I'm actually thinking of getting my wife an iPhone. Why? Because it's simple and powerful device. Openmoko might be even more powerful, but it's nowhere near as elegant or usable. And that's the problem with phones these days. they have more features you could ever dream of having, but they are so hard to use and access that people don't use them. That's one thing the iPhone got absolutely right. It might not have as many raw features as hi-end Nokia phone (for example), but the features that are there are so easy to access that people actually use them.
"However, it will always be the most demanding, most aware people who actually start demanding better, eg. more free, products, and the masses are happy if they just get the cover flow."
People should demand products that help them do the things they want to see get done. If those needs can be satisfied with an "open" phone, great! But as things are right now, they are not. So why exactly shouldn't they get an iPhone (for example) that does let the carry out those tasks at this very moment?
Just because something is "free" does not mean that it's automatically better. If user wants feature X, and iPhone has it, but Openmoko does not, is Openmoko still "better" as far as that user is concerned? No it's not. People don't care about ideology, they care about that they can do. Sure, you can tell them that "but this is free software", and he would say "but this other phone has feature X, while this free phone does not....". If you then tell him that "this free phone could have that feature in the future", he would shrug his shoulders and say "but I can have that feature right now on this other phone".