Yes you can use a monopoly to increase prices but my opinion hasn't changed they would have been much smarter to use that monopoly to increase their customers. Going by other articles they had 49,000 more customers signing up in the previous quarter and 112,000 more in the previous year. Does this sound like their approach is working well?
Personally I was prepared to sign up but they increased the handset prices again and pretty much drove me straight to Three, their loss and my gain.
Would I expect to pay less for a new Apple product? Of course not, it's an Apple product and you're going to pay the Apple tax to protect their profit margins but you don't have to try very hard to find many examples of other companies reducing the price of their new product due to reductions in material costs or improvements in the manufacturing process.
Are you sure about your final point? I was under the impression while we use it for convenience to signify the difference but it's not technically correct.