The WWDC was yesterday and yes, they talked about the video chat, bigger display, yeah yeah blah blah. I’m not putting the phone down, I honestly expected no less from Apple.
What I want to talk about is the data plans for the phone. On AT&T (and I expect other companies to follow suit), they dropped their unlimited bandwidth data $30/mo plan and are offering new plans:
iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS customers can choose one of AT&T’s new data plans: DataPlus, which provides 200MB for just $15, and DataPro which provides 2GB for just $25. Existing AT&T smartphone customers upgrading to iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS are not required to switch to a new plan, but can choose to do so. iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G customers can add tethering to AT&T DataPro for an additional $20 per month.
Each data plan includes unlimited Wi-Fi usage at more than 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots nationwide at no additional charge. AT&T will help customers monitor and manage wireless data usage by sending text messages and emails as customers begin to approach their usage limit, and by providing online tools, including an iPhone app that shows monthly usage information.
Do you see the problem? Apple released a phone that eats up bandwidth like a sieve yet customers will be locked into plans where they have to monitor their bandwidth usage. How the hell is that enjoyable?
Side note: When I got to AT&T’s page, I receive different rates for the data plans. I receive $35.00 for 200MB and $60 for 5GB.
The root issue
THE main reason why Apple’s app market has excelled as much as it has is because the user had unlimited bandwidth. More money to spend on apps, more freedom to try new apps.
Those days are gone.
Now, users will have to plan how their bandwidth is spent just like their anytime minutes with a twist: you can’t easily tell how much bandwidth you’ve used. Unless a real-time indicator is on the phone (I did not hear about it), AT&T customers are bound to get hit with unexpected fees.