There is a fine line between protecting the products and future markets of a company, and stepping on the feet of global commerce. That fine line is currently being treaded by Apple, who is threatening Asian retailers in Singapore who are reselling iPhones they legally purchased, imported and unlocked to work with local carriers.
“According to retailers, Apple threatened in an e-mail to go after them for illegally 'unlocking' parallel imported iPhones. The phones are unlocked by hacking into their software so that local SIM cards can be used.
Sim Lim Square retailers and even some online local sellers have stopped selling the gadget.
A retailer in Sim Lim Square said shops there, including his, received a warning e-mail from Apple about a month ago.
It threatened legal action should they continue to sell 'hacked' iPhones, which could make them liable for $1,000 per iPhone sold.
A Straits Times check with 12 electronics shops and cellphone sellers in Sim Lim Square found none openly selling the gadget.”
Note that Apple hasn't made any public announcements of deals with exclusive carriers in that market, so the argument that people could legally do whatever they want with products they buy (including hack/resell) might hold the moral high ground. On the other hand, Apple contends that you don't own the software on the iPhone, just the license to use it as provided under the TOS. This argument may sound a bit questionable and possibly illegal in its own right, but virtue has never been as respectable as money right?