said by TamaraB:
No one here would think of purchasing a PC, if their ISP could control what you did with it, and how. For some reason, purchasing a smart-phone, or tablet PC (just another style of computer) is seen as something different; when in fact it's the same thing!
I see your point, but people buy gaming systems like PS3s and Xbox360s that have essentially the same limitations without hesitation. When I first bought my PS3 I could run linux on it and I could rip my DVD/Blu-Ray library and watch it by streaming it on the PS3. Now they've locked out Linux and Cinavia is rapidly putting an end to using that as a media streaming device.
I think the principle difference with cell phones is they are not sold as an open computing device. Companies offer unlimited mobile data plans because they have some control over their own destiny by forcing the phones through transcoding proxies and limiting content in a way that doesn't occur when you attach a PC via tethering.
It's been the perpetual problem with consumer Internet services. These companies built out their networks so they want their subscribers to use them as much as they want, except they don't want them to use them too much. It's an inherently contradictory position, and represents a major malfunction in marketing departments in all of these companies.