If you run some wild application you can make your system slow down so much that sshing to it and killing offending process is impossible. Somehow the answer "fix your userspace" was never considered "good enough" and years were spent developing many systems (quotas, cotainers, VMs) to make it safe to run any application and still have control over system.
Sure: any application will consume resources. But with phone you need guarantee that consumed resources (all resources including power) are limited by some arbitrary value. If it's enough for program - it'll work great, if not - I can decide if fancy screen-saver worth giving it half of battery resources.
The same story as with preemptive vs cooperative multitasking: cooperative multitasking works great if you have control over all programs (see Novel Netware 3.x), but if not - it's disaster (see Windows 3.x and/or MacOS before MacOS X).
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