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AT&T Axes iPhone Unlimited Data Plan, Loses Me as Customer?

By June 5, 2010Uncategorized

Just yesterday I was comparing the new Android OS-based HTC Evo and iPhone 4G’s hardware specifications and features as my 2-year contract with AT&T is up. With the supposed announcement of the iPhone 4G at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, I wanted to determine my best course of action when purchasing a new phone (as it would most likely lock me into another 2-year contract).

As I was digging through a few news articles online, I found a few that mentioned AT&T had changed it’s pricing model for data plans. Wait WHAT?! For the past few years AT&T and Apple had touted the fact that you could pay $30 a month and have unlimited data on your iPhone (and subsequently iPad as well).

Today I found an article that pretty well sums up my feelings on the matter. Per Gizmodo: AT&T Just Killed Unlimited Wireless Data and Screwed Everybody in the Process

To recap AT&T’s new data plan structure: The $30 unlimited iPhone/iPad data plan is killed/gone (but existing subscribers will still be able to keep their existing unlimited plan/be grandfathered in). In its place, DataPlus w/200mb for $15/month, DataPro w/2gb for $25/month. This chart from Gizmodo’s article may make it easier to understand:

Oh and good news! You can now tether your iPhone to your computer in order to get internet access (instead of having to pay for wifi in airports, coffee shops, etc). But wait, that’ll cost you $20 a month with NO EXTRA DATA TRANSFER/ALLOTMENT. Oh, and if you want to enable tethering, you have no choice but to move to DataPlus or DataPro, thus losing your grandfathered in iPhone/iPad Unlimited data plan. So basically if you want to tether your iPhone you have to fork over your old unlimited data plan as well as $20 PER MONTH so that AT&T will flip one little switch on your account and/or send you one simple carrier update that will enable tethering on your iPhone.

All of these plans go into effect starting on June 7th. Coincidence? I think not. That’s the same day as Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference where it has been pretty much determined that the new iPhone 4G will be released.

I was really looking forward to seeing/getting the new iPhone 4G. With all of the shadiness surrounding the data plan cuts as well as the fact that HTC decided to get with the times and build phones that encompass newer technologies (than Apple has been able to build into the iPhone), I am highly considering switching both phone hardware and carriers…

I’m thinking that an HTC Evo with Sprint’s $99/month Simply Everything plan is sounding really good right about now (especially with a corporate/hospital discount that makes it only $76.99/month)… Hmm…

UPDATE (6/6/2010): After doing a bit more research, the corporate/hospital discount does not apply to the Sprint Simply Everything plan, so it would be the $99/month. However, a plan similar to the one I currently have with AT&T (including 450 minutes/month with free nights and weekends, unlimited texts/MMS, and unlimited data) is only a few cents difference in cost per month to what my AT&T monthly charges are.

Also, in doing further research into Sprint’s plans, they require any person who purchases an HTC Evo phone to purchase their HTC Evo Premium Data Package at an added cost of $10 per month. Like the new iPhone tethering plan, this DOES NOT include any additional data allotment. It’s just a way for Sprint to make more money (and since the Evo is a data-hungry machine, a way for Sprint to make an extra $120 per year off of those who place the heaviest load on Sprint’s data network)

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