Why is it any more OK for Apple to lock down a handheld media device than it is for the MPAA to lock down your set-top-box?
1) You do not have to buy an Apple; you can get other smartphones. But much of America has no choice but to get TV from their cable company. I cannot get FiOS where I live (been on waiting list for 4 years) and trees prevent me from having satellite. So I'm stuck with that set top box. You know, the box I shouldn't even have to have if Comcast were to use a STANDARD to encode their digital so that my Media Center could work without an IR blaster? That box right there.
2) Apple is a vendor. Comcast is a vendor. The MPAA is not a vendor. You cannot choose to or not to purchase from them. They insidiously work behind the scenes on crap like this, whereas you know up front when buying an Apple that it's locked down. It's a minor but notable distinction from the point above.
If you live in southeast Michigan I have a chainsaw that can solve your satellite problem. (This is my first slashdot post by the way, starting out with a wise-ass comment)
... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks