How is still legal to sell them together?
"The two moves are orthogonal; all they have in common so far is they both seek to uncouple the hardware from a service contract. But then so does the basic concept of a SIM card designed into GSM."
In Finland, the land of racist twats and forests too clean to burn, it is illegal to bundle a phone that has "3G capabilities" with a SIM card contract. Yes the MNO will sell you a phone on a monthly payment plan, if your credit rating is good enough. But they can't offer any sort of discounts or bundles with a SIM card from them. For example, for several years I was getting my phone on a monthly plan from Sonera and the SIM card from DNA. I have always found that this is a wonderful way of doing it. Not only does it promote the continued long use of a phone that has no reason to be traded in (once you have paid for it all it is yours and the bills stop of course!) it also ensures that the MNOs actually compete on things like coverage and performance. But then I guess this isn't worth doing in countries with ten times the population. Let alone a hundred times the population, or more. Too much like hard work I assume. And no doubt many people will explain that being competitive and offering great service is bad for business, and, not something most customers care about anyway.