on so-called "Apple lock-in"
Unless you've been living in a cave, you probably know that Apple
Anyway, there have been a bunch of articles in the wake of the announcement, some positive and some negative. I won't bother talking about the positive points; if you're a Mac user, you already know what the Apple experience is about - taking the hassle out of computing and making it intuitive. If Apple delivers on the promises made during the iPhone announcement, it will do the same for personal information management. Even some of the negative points are valid - the talk is that no 3rd party apps will be allowed. This both sucks and makes sense - the user interface will be streamlined with no 3rd party apps, allowing for a more coherent experience (theoretically), however, you would be limited to the functionality that Apple provided you.
The one negative thing that people keep repeating ad nauseam that isn't completely true is about "Apple lock-in." Here are some relevant pull quotes:
It's ironic that a company whose name is synonymous with "Switch" has built its entire product strategy around lock-in. The iTunes/iPhone/iPod combo is a roach-motel: customers check in, but they can't check out.
Even if you are ready to pledge a lifetime commitment to the iPod as your only brand of portable music player or to the iPhone as your only cellphone once it is released, you may find that FairPlay copy protection will, sooner or later, cause you grief. You are always going to have to buy Apple stuff. Forever and ever. Because your iTunes will not play on anyone else’s hardware.
If you buy an iPod, you're not locked in buying Apple stuff "forever and ever." No one is forcing anyone to buy DRM-locked tunes from the iTunes Music Store. In fact, in my six years of owning an iPod, I've only bought one song from the iTMS, and that was because I needed it for a DJ gig that day. I promptly burned it to CD, and re-ripped it as an mp3, free of DRM. You can always just buy physical CDs (probably a smart thing anyway) and rip them yourself. You don't even have to use iTunes to use an iPod; there are several 3rd party music library apps that will allow iPod management.
The iPhone is a different story, though - you're pretty much stuck with Cingular (now AT&T) for the forseeable future. You'll probably be required to sign a 2-year contract, though, and let's be honest - the people who buy high-end cell phones are the same people who buy new phones every two years anyway. Regarding music lock-in, it'll be the same as the iPod, i.e. not a real issue (see above).
As far as 3rd party apps go, here's how I see it playing out: Apple will officially ban the use of 3rd party apps on the iPhone, as they will claim that for stability's sake, 3rd party apps are verboten. However, they'll leave a hole that clever developers will take advantage of in order to get 3rd party apps to load and function on the iPhone. Apple will probably make a couple of half-hearted attempts to change the API to close the hole, and then it will probably declare that if you brick your shiny new iPhone by installing a 3rd party app, it won't fix it. Caveat emptor. In all likelihood, installing a 3rd party app will at worst cause your phone to crash occasionally, but who wants to reboot their phone?