That’s my call anyway. The world is awash with news that Vodafone are going to be releasing the iPhone across all their markets (including New Zealand), and the rumour that AT&T will be going with a subsidy. To me this all points to a wide, lock-free release from Apple.
Think about it: Apple wants to make the iPhone the defacto mobile standard. They know it sells itself as a standalone device, regardless of carrier. So why not just sell it the same way they sell computers: buy once, no lock in, no contract?
I’d pay good money to see a copy of the existing agreements Apple has in place, because I’m betting they relate only to the current model of the iPhone.