I think this episode contradicts the "No such thing as bad press" conventional wisdom...
It was not unexpected that Apple would try to stop people from unlocking the phones, as this threatened to cause problems for AT&T, Apple’s exclusive United States partner for the iPhone.
“I don’t blame them for fighting the unlocks,” said Brian Lam, editor of Gizmodo, a blog devoted to gadgets. “They are trying to make money, as a business. I get that.”
Still, he said, that disabling someone’s phone, “instead of just relocking it and to wipe out the apps, it seems like Apple is going way too far; I’d call it uncharacteristically evil.”