Perhaps in anticipation of the new iPhone (to be released, more than likely, later this month), AT&T has drastically changed their data plans. The media’s take on this sudden and unexpected move is ‘you get less for less,’ which is very true. While some iPhone users will end up paying more, since there is a lack of ‘unlimited’ plan, the majority will be paying less (if they so choose).
Straight from the press release:
- DataPlus. Provides 200 megabytes (MB) of data – enough to send/receive 1,000 emails (no attachments), send/receive 150 emails with attachments, view 400 Web pages, post 50 photos on social media sites and 20 minutes of streaming video – for just $15 per month. This plan, which can save customers up to 20 percent off their wireless voice and data charges, is designed for people who primarily like to surf the web, send email and use social networking apps. If customers exceed 200 MB in a monthly billing cycle, they will receive an additional 200 MB of data usage for $15 for use in the month. Currently, 65 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 200 MB of data per month on average.
- DataPro. Provides 2 gigabytes (GB) of data – enough to send/receive 10,000 emails (no attachments), send/receive 1,500 emails with attachments, view 4,000 Web pages, post 500 photos to social media sites and watch 200 minutes of streaming video – for $25 per month. Should a customer exceed 2 GB during a billing cycle, they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for use in the month. Currently, 98 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB of data a month on average.
- Tethering. Smartphone customers – including iPhone customers – who choose the DataPro plan have the option to add tethering for an additional $20 per month. Tethering enables customers to use their smartphone as a modem to provide a broadband connection for laptop computers, netbooks or other computing devices. Tethering for iPhones will be available when Apple releases OS 4.0 this summer.
- For new iPad customers, the $25 per month 2 GB plan will replace the existing $29.99 unlimited plan. iPad customers will continue to pre-pay for their wireless data plan and no contract is required. Existing iPad customers who have the $29.99 per month unlimited plan can keep that plan or switch to the new $25 per month plan with 2 GB of data.
It will be interesting to see how the iPhone fits into this, since some of the rumored features include bandwidth-intensive applications (video calling, we’re looking at you). It should be noted that everything launches June 7, except for tethering. Tethering will go live in the U.S. with the release of iPhone OS4. Its interesting that everything goes live on June 7th, considering that is the day that WWDC 2010 kicks off with Steve Jobs’ keynote happening that morning.