Chris Soghoian made an interesting point in his recent cnet article entitled iPhone rules pose Net neutrality, antitrust concerns. My key point of interest here is the following:
Apple’s, and to a degree AT&T, inclination to lock in customers is counter to the current direction of the market. Verizon is opening their cellular network and allowing Amazon to sell EVDO data products bundled with their Kindle. Google is backing the Android open platform handset. Most popular websites have opened their API.
Most business progress in recent times has been to open platforms to applications, unconventional business opportunities, and making their customers happy by giving them additional freedom of choice. Apple and AT&T defies this path at their peril.
Some analysts think around 1 million of those iPhones have been purchased with the intention of unlocking them to run on other cell networks. If those numbers are true, that means iPhone unlocking exploded in the fourth quarter despite two steps taken by Apple to reduce the number of iPhones bought with unlocking in mind.
As shown by statistics such as the gap in units sold to those activated, it is clear that the technophile population is quite comfortable in guerrilla tactics to achieve the functionality they want.
Companies that wish to be, or continue to be, successful should keep this fact in mind.