. . . About the new iPhone and the US mobile phone market in general.
Why do we have to subsidize the damn phone?
I think that a 4 or 5 hundred dollar price point is an acceptable price for a phone if we could use it on any network we like (of course limited to GSM vs TDMA/CDMA). I would prefer to get a phone I like for a more expensive price and be able to use it where ever I like. That was one of the decent things about the first generation iPhone. You had to buy it from Apple or AT&T, but you could take it home from there and do with it as you pleased.
One could take to the house, connect it to the computer and sign up for, or upgrade, an account with AT&T without the obnoxiousness of sitting in a cellular phone store for it to get done.
One could take it to the house, connect it to the computer and jailbreak it so that it could be used on any GSM network.
Hell, you could take it home and jailbreak it and not activate service on it at all.
It was up to the user what he wanted to do with it. You spent the money, you choose. But on the second generation, they have lowered the price, an obvious subsidy from either Apple or AT&T, and dropped the price almost in half from the original price point. Thats great, except as far as I hear that means that you will have to activate your service in the store. You don't have the option to do with it what you like, unless you sign up for service and then cancel the service within 30 days. I am sure that they will tack on the rest of the price of the phone when you do that.
One thing that I think is amazing about the cell phone market here is that the buyer goes to cell phone stores and picks out a phone that he likes and then goes to whichever carrier he wants. The phone is a bit more expensive, but you don't have to deal with the stupidity of being tied to a contract or the rediculous interactions you have with employees of cellular providers.