The New York Times gives a good overview of the ways mobile carriers are restricting customers, holding back innovation for mobile phones, and some of the initiatives now underway to “free” us.
“[Mobile providers] do everything they can to keep power firmly in their own hands. It is entirely at the carriers’ discretion to permit, or disable, the features that a factory loads into the newest phones. They also decide which software can be installed and how it may be used. Many wireless subscribers have ruefully become acquainted with gotcha clauses in their contracts.”
If the iPhone does nothing else, it has built excitement, and a higher expectation around mobile connectivity and applications.