For those of you who are salivating over Apple’s newly-announced iPhone, you might want to do a little research on Cingular, the other company you’ll be getting into bed with if you run out and get an iPhone in June. As an example, did you know that Cingular now forces you to waive all rights to trials by jury or participation in class-action lawsuits in order to become customers of its services? Or that its number of complaints per million customers is nearly double that of the next large market player (T-Mobile)?

In all honesty, the most amazing thing to me about Apple’s iPhone announcement is the exclusive multi-year pairing with Cingular, which locks Apple fans into an agreement with what might be one of the most customer-hostile companies ever. And what’s worse, can you imagine how awful it will be if the expectation is that customers go to Cingular for all techinical support of the iPhone?

I guess this’ll all play out in the coming months, but my first reaction to the whole thing is that this might be the time that Apple learns what it’s like to release what looks by all accounts to be an amazing device into a world in which the company doesn’t exert 90-plus percent control of the entire end-to-end user experience. Hopefully, it’s planning on some clever strategies to deal with this… but I can’t see the Cingular side of this going well at all.