We hope that the next announcement will be that Apple will offer iPhones not only for use on Verizon but also on T-Mobile, Sprint and, indeed, any wireless provider. That could be the real start of liberation.
I doubt Steve Jobs embarked on his iPhone odyssey in order to change the mobile industry — though that was a nice externality — but Apple continues to bulldoze through crappy business practices in the wireless industry (with plenty of crappy practices of its own).
As the Times editorializes, if the iPhone truly goes to Verizon — and maybe even other carriers — it could help kill the practice of “handset exclusivity” that allows carriers to monopolize cool phones.
The iPhone and Android are creating two very separate paradigms of greater openness. In one world, a single, fantastic phone will dominate but be available on all carriers. In the other, a single, fantastic operating system - tweaked by carriers and manufacturers — will make its way to everyone’s palm.