I believe it's pretty clear what they want: they are envious of the popularity of Android and iPhone and want to clone/replace them.
But as I said above, they need to ship hardware and need to invest a ton of money to compete in that space.
And what they don't realize is that, relatively, they just don't have any money to do that:
- Apple has a 582B market cap with 14.60 P/E
- Google has a 209B market cap with 18.89 P/E (+ partners like Samsung with 172B market cap, etc.)
- RedHat has a 11B market cap 74.48 P/E
And Red Hat, even if they decide to invest in GNOME OS, has no experience whatsoever in the consumer space, and actually actively threw all their consumer users under the bus with the Fedora rebranding.
Non-Red Hat investors, on the other hand, seem much more likely to go with Android or with Ubuntu, which has a consumer-focused company backing it, has a sizable user base, a better UI and Android integration already done.
Meanwhile, they seem to put no care whatsoever in keeping their existing open source community users while pursuing their pie-in-the-sky goals, and hence can't even rely much on free contributions to save money.
Plus, of course, even with money they would actually have to ship good software, and I'm not quite sure the GNOME developer actions show they have the skill to write it.