So GMail can now open a link in the browser, map or app of your choice. I love seeing market pressures force companies to open artificial restrictions on the products they sell. I’m not against companies restricting access. Amazon’s Kindle line is highly subsidized hardware that they want to direct into their stores. They are paying you to look at their stuff. You make the choice by paying a low price and getting services.
You might think the carrier subsidizing the phone puts them in the same position. But this is not the case. They subsidize the phone to lock you into a contract that draws money out of you over time. It’s reasonable to put you in the contract for that although I choose not to.
Now I’m out on the DMCA, Digital Millenium Copyright Act, that says you pay a lot of money for some hardware (other things too, not relevant to this particular point) and you can’t change it to suit your needs. In the real world it would be like buying a tree to plant in your yard but you are not allowed to trim the branches to fit your space.