Just a day after Apple gets all the oohs and awws from unveiling the iPhone4, and right before the iPad 3g hits the shelves, AT&T screws everybody with their announcement of no more unlimited data. My 3gs remains on the $30 a month data plan, unless I decide to upgrade to the 4. Do I have that right?
I know this is old news in the tech world, but i was just reading in Jeff Jarvis’ blog the post about AT&Ts move (here) , and he renewed the disgust I feel for such tactics. Do we expect it to be free? Uhhh….it’s NOT free. It costs $30 a month. And if 98% of the people DON’T USE THAT much, then AT&T uses that bit of ”info” to reason that they’re saving most people money. But the thing is, that’s entirely deceptive. They say this just as it becomes clear that there is going to be a boom in video usage on mobile (indeed, this is the allure of the iPad for many). And they unveil the plan just a few hours after the orders for the iPhone queue up, as well as iPad 3gs. Does Apple care that this “way better screen” and face to face is NOT going to cause most 3gs users to give up their unlimited data (at least until AT&T decides to back out on that assurance as well). Screw that, Steve. How do you like them apples?
I discovered , when I looked over my data usage right after this AT&T announcement, that one month, when I took three 10 hour round trip car trips, on which I downloaded over 3g while in Nashville or Bowling Green, KY or Louisville, KY while in strong 3g range, some video podcasts, that I more than quadrupled my normal average data usage of about 800mb –Nov 2009-mid March 2010—to 3800mb, which would have been an “extra” 1.8 gb under the “save you money” plan. This is a sign to me that in the quickly arriving tech era of ubiquitous video consumption –and the accompanying desire for still more– , this will prove to be cost –prohibitive, and that AT&T will hold onto this once again antiquated cost structure while other carriers “get it” way before they (AT&T) does. Maybe , if we’re lucky, with all the people/users using their iPads to enthusiastically suck down onDemand TV and Hulu and Netflix, or their favorite sports, AT&T will “hear it” from all sides often and loud enough to MAKE them”get it”. (It still irks me how Jobs gets away with saying nothing about this. He had to know it was coming as he “announced” his wonderful pricing structure for iPad data.)