Unlimited Data: Let the Nostalgia Begin!

By  |  Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Here’s Steve Jobs back in January, extolling the “breakthrough” pricing that would let iPad buyers get all the wireless data they wanted for $29.99 a month. Turns out that the breakthrough will have come and gone in less than six weeks.

The end of flat-rate data has different implications for the iPad than for smartphones, because Apple’s tablet is (among many other things) a cool portable Internet TV. AT&T’s press release on its new pricing tiers gives example usage for the new $25/2GB plan that includes four hours of streaming video, along with Web surfing, e-mail, and other tasks. Plenty for many people, I’m sure, but anyone who planned to feast on ABC, Netflix, and other video sources over 3G–and who isn’t already grandfathered into the old plan or prepared to buy an iPad before Monday–will be out of luck.


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Fred Says:

    Considering the video quality over 3G, AT&T may be doing you iPad owners a favor by pushing you to wi-fi.

  2. A L Says:

    Every time I’m geared up to buy an Apple product they go and do something like this. No Apple for awhile for me.

  3. Josh Says:

    No nostalgia here. Unlimited data only worked when the data was text e-mails and mobile versions of CNN. In today’s multi-media laden web, unlimited data means that some greedy customers have the ability to make my phone calls drop. No, no nostalgia here.

    Besides, I am surprised anyone would WANT to stream video over 3G. I don’t care what network you’re on, it’s still slow compared to a home cable or DSL. With 4G speeds, watching movies will be enjoyable, but I’m sure we’ll still be having the debate over bandwitdth and spectrum and backhaul then.

  4. Tom Ross Says:

    Again the geeks are not seeing the forest for the trees… To most people, this is an amazing $15 price drop!

    I use about 100 to 150 MB of GSM data per month on my iPhone, so the $15 plan is great for me, it’s great for the majority of smartphone users and it’s great for millions of Americans who hadn’t considered smartphones before because of pricey data plans.

    For those who need a little more, the $25 plan is still a $5 price drop. 2 GB is a lot of data, and you simply won’t be able to exceed this huge allotment without some serious video streaming abuse. Seriously, you don’t need more than 2 GB.

    Anyone turning this into another AT&T or Apple rant is a little naive. The whole industry is talking about bandwidth caps because they favor the average consumer and punish the abusers. And AT&T has done the right thing here: Adding a cheaper option at the bottom instead of an even more expensive one at the top.

    $15 is moving data plans into no-brainer territory and giving smart phones a chance to grow beyond their current 15 % market share. Verizon will have to follow suit before the end of the year.

  5. NanoGeek Says:

    I agree with Tom Ross. I’m considering buying one of the 4G iPhones when they arrive, and a $15 price drop seems pretty good to me.

    Will there be some limitations to what I can do? Of course, but to me the price outweighs the limited data.