"If you insist on using anything but iTunes, sure."
We _were_ talking about Amarok and other stuff available on Linux. We are not discussing on whether iPhone can be used on Windows or Mac OS.
""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?"?"
Like I said, this is LWN, Linux Weekly News. The point was that I was assuming people reading LWN actually use Linux, where there's no choice of being able to choose a device you cannot interact with from Linux. Also it'd be natural also not to choose a device which currently works in Linux, if the vendor actively tries to prevent it like Apple does.
For the question, the answer is "independence from what the vendor allows or not allows you to do". It's a bit same as "it pollutes a little less", ie. possibly an intangible value that the customer may or may not care about, and which requires a bit of trust that it's better that way.
I forgot to answer one more point in your previous post:
"And most phones out there, even closed-source ones, do not place limitations on the user."
They do. I don't claim they are restrictions your average Joe might care of immediately, but there are always restrictions in basically all other phones besides Openmoko. The vendors always allow some stuff, while not allowing some other stuff. Apple's grip of the application store is one example, while the other example is of course that most phone manufacturers do not support open media formats like Ogg, which means it's difficult or impossible to get one's music collection to play on those phones. Sometimes also access to specific APIs is restricted, and at least in the end the kernel and hardware support is limited by the closed source software that cannot be changes.
Try eg. attaching a generic web camera or digital TV stick into some random phone's mini-USB port. What are the chances of ever getting it to work on some other phone besides Openmoko products?