Apple has just increased the pressure.
Apple selling unlocked iPhone 3G in Hong Kong - International Herald TribuneThese phones, of course, are for the mainland market.
Apple Inc. has begun selling unlocked iPhones in Hong Kong that can be used with any cell phone carrier.
The move appears to depart from the company's previous strategy of selling the popular device capable of working with 3G, or third-generation cellular networks, through specific service providers, usually with a required service contract.
On its Hong Kong Web site, the Cupertino, California-based company is advertising unlocked iPhones, saying people can 'buy directly from Apple' and choose their own carrier.
'iPhone 3G purchased at the Apple Online Store can be activated with any wireless carrier,' the Web site says...
It's quite a bold move. I'm sure Apple thought very long and hard about when and how to do it.
Should be interesting to see what happens next!