It will set itself free
It’s absurd to think that the iPhone would stay ‘locked’ with AT&T service.
If we’ve learned anything from copy-protecting on music and DVD’s, its that technology wants to be free. It’s an inherent part of the medium.
If something can be encrypted, then it can be decrypted. Knowledge is always flowing 2 directions (or more).
Apple knew this with iTunes and they knew it just as well with iPhone. Lock-in schemes like this were insisted upon by Apple’s partners – not by Apple itself. Apple could give 2 shits if their music has DRM encoded on it, or if their phones only work on AT&T’s networks.
The mobile phone industry in the United States is absurd and their business models have to be taken down and Apple has made the first moves in making this a reality by working the iPhone into their iTunes ecosystem.
This is echoed in this statement by RIM’s CEO (via MacNN):
“It’s a dangerous strategy. It’s a tremendous amount of control,” he says. “And the more control of the platform that goes out of the carrier, the more they shift into a commodity pipe.”
I want to see Blackberry and Palm step up to the plate and offer up some serious competition to the iPhone. In order to do this, though, they have to heed to design. They have to build an experience and not worry so much about features.