Reading the comments thread on this Gizmodo post about iPhone 3G upgrade terms and the Anger is palpable. But the interesting thing is that there is absolutely nothing new here – subsidized phones linked to exorbitant line rental is the norm. The difference is that the world of computers and laptops is not like that, and the iPhone is part of that culture.
Apple is no longer a renegade company. With iPods and the iPhone, you are conservatively locked into all sorts of things, from being unable to backup, to having to run iTunes and upgrade it every few days, to being unable to roam with a different carrier and having to have double the unusual line rental contract. All this makes for a big opportunity for Google, who will not compromise with the carriers, just as Apple will not compromise with design.