Tiered priceing maximizes profit for all transactions in the sense that it doesn’t leave out buyers who will not pay a higher price. It doesn’t do anything to maximize the ‘cut of the value’ from individual transactions.
And, yes, my analysis does include that. In so much as it provides a reason for Tesla to sell the nerf’ed 75KWh car for a lower price. Let’s be clear, they have a huge waiting list. They could have stopped selling at the 60KWh price point and still sold every car they made. They would have made more money up front. So, clearly, they saw some value in keeping the lower price point around.
The concern about the ethics of locking down the firmware is complex. Maybe I can share the reasoning that the OSS movement has come to that relates to this. OSS in general wants to see all software open and that’s a great goal, but when trying to apply that to firmware they ran into pushback from the manufacturers. The manufacturers say:
“We sell black boxes. We document how to talk to them and what they should do. Yes, they have software (which we call firmware) running inside of them to make them work. No, we don’t think you should get this software in an ‘open’ form (source code). Our reason being that we could have made the product with hardcoded logic or with a small processor running firmware. Either way the black box would still work the same way when viewed from the outside. So, why does our choice of how to implement it expose us to a higher level of scruitny?”
This answer was pretty divisive to the OSS movement as it showed the divide between the “software should be open so that I can modify it and make it work the way I want it to” and the “free all the things” groups.