Originally Posted by Taskiss
Those iPhones that became "bricked" were, I believe, the ones hacked to allow access to other service providers. The information that I was required to contract for a 2 year service agreement with AT&T was communicated prior to my acceptance of the device.
"Communicated" and "agreed upon" are two different monsters. Nowhere -- unless you can prove me wrong -- prior to the transaction of purchasing the phone does the customer agree to any terms of sale in which the buyer pledges to subsequently activate the phone only on AT&T's network. It's one thing for Apple and AT&T to say that you are expected to activate with AT&T under a 2-year agreement. It's another for you to sign an agreement that says you WILL.
When I bought my Hyundai Sonata back in 2003, they told me that I was required to come in every 30,000 to their dealership in order to keep the car under warranty. Sure, I could get it serviced anywhere else and the car would be fine. Let's say, then, that I didn't take the car into Hyundai until 55,000 miles. That doesn't give them the right to disable my car from driving again because I always got my oil changed at Jiffy Lube. That does give them the right to void the warranty, however, and I would need to pay for them to service the vehicle.
It's the SAME THING with Apple. AT&T has no part in a customer's unlocked iPhone, period...and that's taking into account whatever stupid agreement Apple has with AT&T. A customer never signs an agreement with AT&T at the time of purchase, even if they tell the customer, "thou shalt activate with us." Apple bricking iPhones is a low, pathetic act on Apple's part when they have no agreement on which to base such an act -- or at least none that I've seen so far.
If Apple sold an activated phone, which was activated under an agreement that the customer would not hack the phone or remove said phone from AT&T's cellular network under penalty of potential bricking, this would be very different. Right now Apple is acting the vandal and, at a minimum, it's really really shady whether or not it's within Apple's "rights" to do so.