This smells like some exec saying that they need to do the rebranding, but quit halfway through because it cost too much.
I'm not really sure what the iPhone introduced that was new? Maybe virtual game distribution (software-only, no cartridges) and online sales (App Store)?
PalmOS devices had software apps long before the iPhone. The only thing that the iPhone has going for it is that it was kissed by Steve Jobs.
Egon pulls out a calculator and is about to type on it when Venkman slaps it out of his hands.
I don't know what you're talking about with Exchange.... Activesync doesn't allow your Exchange Administrator to wipe your phone. He can only wipe the emails on your mail server, and THAT'S IT!
This all seems like it can be handled with more law enforcement in CA, and the state is trying to push this onto the cell phone manufacturers and providers.
This whole discussion mixes legal and moral issues. All that aside, the article is asking "What's the best way to write my name on my stuff?". Maybe there is no one simple answer, but there are many alternatives. How about claiming the lost item on your insurance?
In fact, take it one step further and don't even have a surface to touch. Just install a kinect or leap motion interface. That should do it, and would require minimal redesign.