The counter aspect to that is: possibly the one customer group that would be fully happy is too small to support the development of the product in the first place. (Note that I am not asserting that this is the case, only that it could be. That’s why companies do market research - to get closer to the truth about the market.)
This kind of marketing debate is as old as time, pitting as it does one cliche against another e.g. “jack of all trades, master of none” v. “stick to your knitting”.
From where we are today, I think the key question is: how many of the problems, real or perceived, will get addressed over time? to what extent? how?
For me personally, this has always been a phone first and a pocket computer second. Hence the priorities should be a) time between charges and b) stable modem (from among the things that you list, and not that I am having problems with modem stability) but of course other people will have different priorities.
I would agree with both parts of that … but the market that the Raspberry Pi plays in is different - different customers with different goals.
I support both the Pi and the Librem 5. I have multiple Raspberry Pi computers on duty in my house.
Some might argue that blob status becomes more important in a device that is a tracking device first and a phone second i.e. blob status not as important on a Raspberry Pi that just sits quietly in the corner v. a device that you will carry with you everywhere.
I can just tell that there are users that complain about short battery life and about unstable modem (missing calls, loosing Internet connection) and these 2 things have a significant impact on Librem 5 working as a phone.
For me video calls in apps like Viber/Signal/Telegram would have been the feature that I would need in order to dump Android for good because for me communication over distance means video calls in such apps and not having them is just not an option, but I understand that it is a task that could be viewed as out of scope if we view it as a pure phone.
And I can tell for myself that for me having a working device is more important then having a blob free device. With Raspberry Pi I have no problems with streaming video in a browser and showing it through HDMI on an external display with perfectly stable video signal. I don’t know for sure, but I guess this has something to do with blobs that Raspberry Pi uses that Librem 5 does not use (for example for HDMI or some video codecs maybe). When things are not working this means users are not getting their use cases satisfied and they satisfy them on another device.
Between total trust and zero trust there must be a middle ground.
Yes, zero trust model is only possible on a blob free device. But I am a realist. The potential to verify something does not mean that people do indeed verify it so this potential is often not really utilized.
And there is a middle ground. I don’t trust Whatsapp on an Android/iOS, but I have no problem in using Whatsapp on a Linux device that enables me to feed WhatsApp with fake data (fake address book, fake sensor data, fake location ect.). Would this be 100% safe? No, I could still get malware from WhatsApp.
But it would be a HUGE step compared to Android/iOS.
I have the same feelings with Raspberry Pi. Is it perfect? No. But it is not Windows. And this is already a HUGE step in the right direction. And if it was blob free and working crippled, this would have just made more people to give up on their Linux journey and they would go back to Windows.