A market shift?
Currently we still buy contracts and service from the operators of the networks - a bit like buying gas directly from Transco, except we have more choice than that. They do, however, have roaming facilities to extend coverage, and billing mechanisms so other "operators" like Carphone Warehouse, Tesco, Virgin et al can piggyback/offer alternative deals.
Vodafone and O2 will, eventually, have to compete on data as Three realised, and T-Mobile pretty much dominate. But what is interesting with the iPhone is Apple's relationship with the operators.
Apple gets a revenue share - reported on El Reg indeed as being around/up to 30%. Remember the rumours that Apple were going to set up their own network to support the iPhone infrastructure, since the iPhone is itself a vital tool for Apple's media presence. Instead of setting their own network, establish a relationship and stable infrastructure with a dominant network (notice that they have chosen O2, formerly BT Cellnet, for the UK - and T-Mobile, which I believe was Germany's "national" network for that territory. Choosing Orange for France basically covers the main ones whilst ignoring both Vodafone and Three - curiously operators that have expressed some interest in media distibution themselves) then eventually market the iPhone with a dedicated "Apple" tariff, perhaps tied in with the useful .Mac services (backup your iPhone to .Mac? Stolen phone, but don't lose your purchased content?).
iTMS works brilliantly on the iPhone. A few years ago, when iPod connectivity in cars was "a power cable and a tape adaptor", I wondered about the possibility of replacing the stand of overpriced, limited music and audiobooks in service stations with an "iTunes Terminal". Log in, plug in your iPod with a secondary sync mechanism (iPhone has this - it puts purchased music BACK on your Mac), buy. Apple could pay for the terminals to be present or offer value added services such as net browsing with revenue for the service area operator.
Anyway, that idea obviously wasn't well developed in my head, but Apple have leafrogged it. I've got my terminal RIGHT HERE. It's the same device that plugs into the car radio and is controlled by the touchscreen on my cheap Halfords head unit, and is also my in-car phone (okay, that's a lie, the lack of voice dial means I can take a call when driving, but my trusty Ameo with MS Voice Command does the call initiation).
YouTube? Free? It's the best way to trial distribution of video to the handset. How are people liking the quality and speed? Need more? How can we deliver? Maybe iPhone 2.0 will have 16GB, and 3G... and online TV-show purchases. It has video output - it is as functional as any iPod in that regard. Does the connection remain stable enough to deliver Apple's "quality" of product?
The networks might move faster. WM devices can do this stuff with the right applications, though I hesitate to suggest they will manage to do it as well - for all the power the Ameo offers, it's a buggy, unreliable thing where camera, video and general media behaviour is concerned.
Apple just works. I expect that will extend to Apple's remarketed telecommunications network in 2013 as much as it applies to everything else they do.