AT&T Does Good: Saving money each month on iPhone data

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AT&T’s new data rates go into effect tomorrow. While there’s a lot of complaining about it, I think most of it’s knee-jerk.

Bottom line is iPhone users are no longer required to pay $30 a month for unlimited data they’ll never use. Instead, starting tomorrow you pay either $15 a month for 200MB, or $25 a month for 2GB.

I’m considered a pretty heavy data user, but see the chart above. I can easily go with the 2GB plan and have a ton of room left under the cap. That’s $5 a month saved. As for the other two members of this household, their charts show a highest monthly usage of 91MB, so they’ll get the 200MB plan with plenty of room to spare. That’s another $30 a month saved.

A major reason I get by with the cellular data usage I do is that AT&T’s free WiFi hotspots are at Starbucks and other popular locations. This is a huge benefit, and the iPhone always connects to it flawlessly. Without those free hotspots my data usage would probably quadruple, but it’d still be under the cap.

Imagine if the plan change was reversed. You were paying for the data you used, and suddenly AT&T required everyone to pay $30 a month no matter what. As a “reward” you’d get unlimited data. When you only use 90MB a month you’d be furious. There’d be cries about greed like you never heard before.

People need to step back, take a look at their actual data usage, and relax. They should also consider that this is a bold move by AT&T to start pricing smartphone data so more people can join the party. Overall this is a good thing for consumers and smartphone makers.

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4 thoughts on “AT&T Does Good: Saving money each month on iPhone data

  1. Wow! I never thought of it that way, but now that you put it that way it makes a lot of sense!

  2. pabugeater,I believe it’s meant to get more people on iPhones than ever before, and the iPad simply came along for the ride. People were scared away by a $70 or more monthly bill, and this pushes it down quite a bit. The iPad already had a two-tiered set of plans, and never had a monthly bill because it’s no-contract. Dropping the unlimited to 2GB is not outlandish. Anyone who thought they were going to stream a ton of movies over 3G was engaged in wishful thinking anyway. More than just the carrier’s signal is involved.Besides, I question your numbers. A 2-hour SD movie is typically 750MB-1GB and looks good on a 1920 x 1200 display. It could be compressed a LOT and still look terrific on the iPad’s much smaller (relatively speaking) display. Point is you could do more than “a single movie” before you hit the cap.

  3. Hi Tom; As usual – except for that one time! – I agree with you … mostly. In the context of iPhone usage, agreed. But my feeling is that ATT aimed this directly at iPad, not iPhone. The iPad’s bigger screen makes it more suitable for consuming movies, and a single HD movie wipes out your quota. But folks will smarten up and seek out wifi.And then there’s that tethering tax ….

  4. It seems like a good deal. My only concern is data use while video chat/calling on the next iPhone. 2GB would probably still be enough.

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