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AT&T announces new iPhone/iPad data plans: 200MB/2GB tiered plans coming to haunt/wallet rape…

by Mike
Posted June 2nd, 2010 at 6:51 am

And so it starts — the downfall of the mobile world. AT&T has released information concerning sweeping changes to their iPhone/iPad data plans. Namely, there are now two teirs: Data Plan Plus (200MB/month) and Data Plan Pro (2GB/month). What do heavy users get to choose from? Nothing. But, they did finally manage to add tethering. Full gist right inside…

After giving the plans a looksie, it’s now easier than ever to say that I will never be an AT&T subscriber again. Most importantly because their tiered pricing plans which were supposed to be “fair” and “better for the consumer” are anything but. Before we get into the debate side of things, let’s fist take a look at the plans…

Old Unlimited plan | Data Plus | Data Pro

  • Current $30 “unlimited” plan is gone. Though current users can keep said plan and new users can hurry up and sign up their iPhones and iPads now in order to be grandfathered in when the new iPhone drops.
  • Data Plus: $15/month for 200MB of data. $15 per each additional 200MB used.
  • Data Pro: $25/month for 2GB. $10 for each additional 1GB used.
  • Users can swap back and forth between Data Plus and Data Pro plans as needed according to AT&T. (A sign of “flexibility” as they tighten the chains around our hands I suppose.)


JOKE! Ok, now that we have that out of the way…

  • Data Pro plan required
  • $20/month
  • Tethering plan shares data allotment of iPhone


  • The shortlived $30/month 5GB “unlimited plan” is also disappearing from iPad land, being replaced with the Data Plus and Data Pro plans highlighted above.

    Though, “Bait & Switch” comes to mind — it wasn’t long ago Steve Jobs was praising AT&T as being the only carrier to offer a truly unlimited, contract free data plan for only $30/month. That went well…

    In all reality, no matter how AT&T tries to frame it iPhone and iPad users will now pay more for less. Each and every little megabyte you consume is drastically more expensive. I see the sweet spot for “heavier” users being between 2-3GB. Precisely where AT&T cuts off the Data Pro Joke package. From here on out, that crucial 2-3GB cutoff is going to cost you $5 more.

The only notable thing AT&T is rolling out with these new plans is a data usage calculator and alarm that will send you texts and emails when you’ve reached 65%, 90%, and 100% of your monthly data allotment. But that’s as rosy as it gets.

And now the fun begins…

The Data Plus plan’s 200MB is a joke and completely useless. Though uselessness will only cost you $15/month so perhaps it’s a steal. On the other hand, the more giving 2GB/month ($25) is a tad better, but not by much. Ya, the iPhone data plan that most people will see and use is now $5 cheaper each month than the current capped unlimited 5GB plan, but it’s not worth it in my opinion. Where’s the $40/month “unlimited” 5GB or 10GB option? That would be perfect for the claimed “less than 2%” of iPhone users who go use more than 2GB of data per month as is claimed by AT&T Mobility’s senior vice president of data and voice products, Mark Collins. Though I’d dispute that claim — 2GB is not hard to break at all.

I’ve received so many emails about how people consider themselves “heavy users” and yet fail to even come close to 1GB of usage per month. NEWS FLASH: if you “never come close” to using 1GB of iPhone data in a month, you’re not a heavy user. I sync three push email accounts, am a religious mobile web user, YouTube aficionado, and all around app connoisseur — 2GB is useless to me.

The tethering solution that AT&T has worked so hard on over the last year is utterly useless, and effectively means I will be forced to jailbreak and tether — for free. An additional $20/month to “share” you iPhone data plan — with no extra data allotment — is theft and double dipping. Think about it, if they’re not going to up the tethering data allotment, it should be free. Most people are not going to use both their iPhone and iPad at the same time. No, they’re going to use one or the other. That’s why the idea of having to pay extra to “share” is ridiculous and nothing but a money grab. You’re essentially going to be paying $45/month for 2GB of data.

And of course, 2GB for a single iPhone and tethered laptop is fucking stupid. I go though 2-3GB per day on my home line. Even cutting back to 1/10th of my normal web usage will shoot me past the 2GB limit.

AT&T has effectively taken a step backwards in the mobile landscape by severely restricting consumers’ opportunities. Oh well, there’s three other somewhat competent carriers in the U.S.

Look for the new Data Plus and Data Pro iPhone plans to be officially unveiled to the public at the iPhone 4.0 announcement at WWDC ‘10. I can easily see this as being the single most disappointing announcement Steve Jobs will address. Expect boos for AT&T…yet again.

If you must take something positive away, let it be this: Jailbreak your iPhone and tether for free. Oh yeah this too: FUCK OFF AT&T!

**Just thought I’d highlight the epitome of AT&T’s suck: Rogers, a Canadian carrier long known in the tech world for price gouging offers their 5GB iPad data plan for $35/month. ‘Nuff said.

I’m sure I’ve stepped on a few toes, so let’s here what you’ve got to say. Yell at me in the comments…


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