Re: A pox on both their houses etc
The bit you've missed there is that starting up a new phone business does not help one little bit in selling your wares to Apple users.
I know car analogies are usually rubbish - and TBH this one is no better. But I'll give it a go.
So lets say we have two big car manufacturers, who for historical reasons have virtually all of the market between them. Lets just pick two big names, say Ford and GM. Lets assume that, like the phone market, the competitors have near enough disappeared.
The big difference here is that there's no real roadblock to another manufacturer (say Tesla) setting up - because unlike phones, people buy cars for the car, they don't buy them for the games they can play on the in-car infotainment system (yet). It's this bit that makes the analogy so rubbish - but bear with me.
So you can buy a Ford which will run loads of games and other applications. You can buy a GM which also runs loads of games and applications. But if you buy some little known Korean car, then you find you can't get most of the games or applications you'd like to run on it - or at least it's so complicated getting them installed that you can't deal with the hassle.
So here we are, Ford can correctly say that if you don't like Ford's policies, you can buy GM. And GM can say you can buy a Ford. But either way, you are stuck with policies that are to all intents identical - basically you can use your car in the way Ford or GM say you can.
You bought a Ford. Ford dictate what petrol you can use, and take a cut from the petrol company. They dictate what GPS system you can use, and take a cut from that - but what's more, they can dictate that the GPS provider can't include certain roads that Ford says you can't use. You have to have your Ford serviced at a Ford approved main dealer, using Ford approved parts, and using Ford approved consumables. If you want to add accessories such a tow bar or bike carrier (and this is probably where the analogy comes even close), then you can only use ones Ford approves and ... you've guessed it, Ford takes a 30% cut.
You could argue that 30% is a fair cut for handling the issue of getting your bike carrier or other accessory to the main dealer and then to you. But when you have fitted your bike carrier, you find there are optional extras - say specialised clips to hold certain bikes. You can't go direct to the bike carrier manufacturer - yep, you've guessed it you have to go to Ford who take a 30% cut. And Ford have put "technical measures" in place to stop you going direct - try fitting a non-aproved device and the car stops working.
Daft as it may seem, for those of you with a short memory, this isn't all that far from how car manufacturers used to operate. While they didn't put any technical measures in place, so you could fit a third party bike carrier without the car stopping working, they would completely void all warranties unless you serviced your car at a main dealer, using genuine parts, and approved consumables. Needless to say the reasons they gave for this were "for the consumers' own protection" - only genuine parts are safe and all that sort of thing. BMW did go the technical route in as much as they introduced their famous service light - as you drove, the computer would work out how fast you were "using up" the service interval and put a light on when a service was due - and guess what, for a while you could only reset the light by having a service at a BMW main dealer. And as electronics started getting more common, all the manufacturers had proprietary systems which were only made available to their own dealer networks.
In the EU at least, TPTB decided that the safety arguments just didn't cut it, and ended the closed shop. So Ford cannot now insist that you only have your new Ford serviced at a Ford main dealer - and they are required to make diagnostics info available to others, as well as using a standardised diagnostics connector. And guess what, from my limited experience (I've never owned a car new enough for that to be a consideration), the main dealers had to compete with independents and are no longer as highly priced (relative to the independents) as they used to be. But the bigger change is that other garages can diagnose issues that once were restricted to main dealers only.
So yes, while the analogy is rather rubbish - there are parallels. And the arguments that "it's for the users' benefit' is/was equally invalid for both phones and cars.