Charles Jade’s argument for why MobileMe should be free. In short, he’s saying that since MobileMe is a such a small revenue stream for Apple when compared to hardware sales if they’d stop charging for the service it would lead to even more hardware sales. Charles says:

The point is lock-in. Get people using Apple’s free services with Apple’s highly profitable hardware, and they’ll be less likely to buy hardware from competitors. That’s how the iTunes and App Stores work, and that’s how MobileMe could, too. If only Apple would set it free.

But making MobileMe free isn’t enough in and of itself to boost the Apple halo effect. MobileMe needs to become a must-have service for everyone who owns an Apple product. If MobileMe was a significant contributor to the overall user experience then Apple would want to make it free so people would actually use it. Because it’s the user experience that boosts hardware sales.

(Via MacStories.)