I had some lame windows smart flip phone prior to the iPhones coming out. But, it wasn't subsidized by my employer. The browser was garbage, and the email was rudimentary. I lived in fear that something would misbehave and I'd get slammed with $100's of dollars in data fees from AT&T. I bought an early iPhone and lost that fear. Ultimately, the closed ecosystem drove me to Android. Now, I struggle to get to 10% of my monthly data cap.
For me, opening cell companies to reasonably priced data (by jumping in at the right time and locking in with AT&T) is what Apple did to open the market.