There’s nothing in this post that isn’t correct (though it’s worth noting, for the record, that the iTunes Store is actively moving away from DRM, not that it erases past transgressions, of course), however, it’s also worth noting that many people aren’t [themselves] hampered by the fact that what they’re dealing with is in some way locked down.
Nobody except people who don’t want to pay money for a Mac actually cares that you can’t easily run Mac OS X in its entirety on, say, a Dell. (I have several Macs, and two Dells: one runs DragonFlyBSD, the other runs Mac OS X—and it runs Mac OS X really, really badly). People in general, as with games consoles, buy the hardware for what it’s capable of—even if “capable” has been artificially limited in some way.
But, this is obvious stuff and I’m rapidly heading away from the point I’m trying to make, and that is that the reason that people don’t care about Freedom Zero is that it’s not important enough for most people to cause the to sacrifice something which makes their day-to-day life easier. I’m not going to stop using Mac OS X because it’s non-free until the alternatives are on a par or better than it. The same applies to search engines, television stations, DVDs, and anything else you care to think of. I—and most people I know—simply do not have the time to fiddle and mess around and put up with sub-standard results purely for the freedoms it buys (which only exist for the majority in terms of the hypothetical). It’s no good extolling the virtues of, say, Ubuntu, or Wikia’s new search engine, or OpenOffice.org, or anything else for that matter, if you can’t use them for the things that people need to do.
The reason the iPhone sold well wasn’t that it did everything; plenty of devices do everything, but the iPhone did the things it did far better—in the eyes of the beholder—than the alternatives. The iPod was the same: the Slashdot story about the announcement of the iPod was pretty typical—“firewire!?”, “it’s only HOW big?”, “the UI sucks, you can’t do anything”, “but I don’t want to use iTunes…”, etc. All perfectly valid criticisms, but none of them remotely important to the people who bought the thing.
The other aspect to it is that the populous at large don’t, and haven’t ever really cared about Freedom Zero, but SOMEBODY always does. In the long long term, the stuff created to those principles will survive, whilst the Apple and Google and Microsoft products will be blips in history.