Why AT&T’s New Data Plan Will Likely Save You Money

Most of us were pretty upset when AT&T announced it would get rid of unlimited data plans, but if you are in the vast majority of iPhone users, a look at your past data usage will reveal that AT&T’s new plan will actually save you $60 a year.

Currently, AT&T’s unlimited data plan is $30 per month, but the new plan will cost $25 per month for 2 gigabytes of data, plus $25 for every 2 gigabyte increments you exceed. AT&T will no longer offer the unlimited data plan.

The idea of AT&T revoking the choice of unlimited data seems frustrating, but further investigation reveals that only extremely heavy data users will pay more money per month.

After doing some casual research, I realized that even a frequent iPhone user like me uses far less than 2 gigabytes of data per month.

Here’s what I found when I went to Settings >> General >> Usage:

iPhone Data Usage

These data usage statistics show that I’ve used a total of 9.3 gigabytes in the last 12 months, since I bought this iPhone 3GS. As someone who owns an iPhone-related website and is always on their iPhone, I was surprised to see that in the last year I have used only an average of .775 gigabytes per month. That’s less than 1 gigabyte per month without ever trying to restrict my data usage.

If my data usage is far less than 2 GB, I would venture to guess that yours is, too, unless you spend hours upon hours watching videos over 3G every day or downloading very large email attachments.

I have asked a few of my friends and family to check their own iPhone data usage, and every one has been surprised to find that they are actually going to save $5 a month with AT&T’s new data plan, since your data fee will drop from from $30 for unlimited data to $25 for more than you need.

You can thank those few extremely heavy iPhone users for subsidizing your new cheaper plan. Of course, as mobile phone usage continues to soar, we will likely start using more data, and perhaps spending more money in data chargers. At that point, will AT&T improve its infrastructure to meet the demand, or simply charge higher data fees?

How Much Data Do You Use?

Go to Settings >> General >> Usage and see how much data you’ve used since you purchased your iPhone. Will you save or lose money with AT&T’s new data plan?

No More Unlimited Data for iPhone on AT&T: Does it Tick You Off?

iPhone No More Unlimited Data AT&T

Thought unlimited data on your iPhone was too good to be true? It is now. AT&T has removed the option of unlimited data for smart phones and will begin charging new users based on how much data they use.

There are two new plans available for smart phone users. One, dubbed DataPro, offers 2GB of data per month for $25. If you go over, you are charged another $25. A second plan offers 200MB of data per month for $15, and if you exceed it, you’ll pay another $15 for 200 more megabytes.

This sucks if you ask me. Part of the magic of having an iPhone is the ability to do anything at any time without having to worry about data charges. Now, iPhone users will be forced to pay more to ration their data use, instead of AT&T paying more to upgrade its damn network already. What’s more, US iPhone users don’t have the choice to switch to another carrier because of AT&T and Apple’s exclusivity deal. This is not progress, it is regress, as Cult of Mac writer John Brownlee accurately points out:

&%$@ you, AT&T. Has there ever been a more worthless telecom? After three full years of supplying terrible service to their iDevice customers and skimping at every turn on using their profit from iPhone contracts to substantially improve their 3G networks, they’re now raising prices for inferior service. — Opinion: AT&T’s New Data Plans Make iPhone Look Worse Than Android

Time to go to Android on Verizon, where you can get unlimited data for $29.99. Either that or jailbreak/unlock your iPhone and use another carrier.

What’s Your Opinion?

Does it bother you that AT&T has removed the unlimited data plan for iPhone? Is it enough to make you switch to Android? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Apple to Get a Cut of Cingular iPhone Profits

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs doesn’t play nice. Back in 2005, when asked about an iPod mobile phone, Jobs said Apple would have to get through many “orifices [i.e. cell phone service providers] to get to the end users.”

Well it seems Jobs has made it through these orifices, because not only did Apple establish a deal with Cingular (now AT&T) for the iPhone service, it managed to get around Cingular’s usual demands to control most of “every detail from processing power to the various features that come with the phone,” said the Wall Street Journal.

With the iPhone, Apple convinced Cingular that it knows Web surfing and multimedia better than they do. Apparently, this was important enough to Cingular that they agreed to give Apple a cut of the revenue generated from subscribers, even though AT&T won’t get a penny from iPhone sales. Is that a price worth paying to be the exclusive carrier of the Apple iPhone?

Cingular Ad: Why So Shoddy?

Just about all of you who’ve commented on the Cingular iPhone ad are highly skeptical. I don’t blame you.

You guys are right: the design is completely unprofessional. The fonts are off, the spacing is awkward. Hell, the iPhone prices don’t even match the previously stated prices, (although I did post a few weeks ago about some analysts’ predictions that the iPhone prices would drop).

Nevertheless, the “ad” – or whatever you want to call it – was part of a Pinecone consumer research survey. My guess is that someone put this together quickly perhaps because the focus was supposed to be on the content rather than the design.

I showed Gizmodo‘s Brian Lam the Cingular ad and he said that “the changes are what are critical” and that the research is most likely “standard marketing to check the results of the shifts in pricing.”

Anyway, I don’t ever expect to see this design out anywhere. But I’m really crossing my fingers that Cingular keeps those iPhone prices and rate plans. I’m sure some of it depends on the reactions they receive to the consumer surveys.

More on the Cingular ad: