AT&T confirms $30, $45 data plans for iPhone 3G

Replacing its $20 add-on iPhone EDGE network data plan, AT&T today announced that 3G data plans for the iPhone 3G will cost $30 per month for consumers and $45 for business users, in addition to the separate cost of any voice plan. The new pricing raises the minimum two-year cost of an AT&T data service contract from $480 to $720, with the business user plan costing $1,080 over two years, offsetting the apparent price drop of iPhone hardware from $399 to $199. AT&T’s new data service will enable U.S.-based iPhone users to achieve transfer speeds of roughly 2.8 times current EDGE speeds, slower than the faster 3G data speeds offered by other telecom companies; however, the plans will offer “unlimited” 3G data service use. AT&T will remain the exclusive service provider for iPhone hardware in the United States, initially offering its 3G services in 280 major U.S. markets, with a planned increase to 350 by year’s end. Full details are found in an AT&T iPhone 3G press release.

  1. Now that I have digested all the info today, I think the cost increase on the back end and the inability to activate at home is going to force me to wait for an upgrade.

    EDGE is pokey but I can live with it, given the WiFi access I have at my disposal. Maybe 3G is wonderful but I would rather enjoy my year-old iPhone a little longer and see if the next round of hardware improvements is more substantial. And if the app store turns out to be as great as I think it will, then I’ll be happy.

  2. @anonymous: I think you’ll find it much tougher to get an unlocked iPhone 3G. Not because the hackers can’t unlock them (I’m sure they can), but because they can only be purchased in the U.S. from an AT&T store by signing and activating a 2-year contract with 3G data plan. So you’d be stuck with the cancellation fee if you cancel it and then unlock. Plus, T-Mobile’s nascent 3G network operates on the 1700 MHz band, which the iPhone 3G does not have, so the best you could do is EDGE speeds on T-Mobile’s network. So, apart from GPS, I think you’d be better off with an unlocked iPhone v1 (there should be plenty on eBay come July) than with the 3G.

  3. Since the iPhone 3G does not have any earth-shattering new features I can’t live without, and the data plan is $10 more per month, I will stick with the $249 refurb I got from AT&T.

  4. That is pretty aweful.. Will they keep the $20 plan for those who would stay on Edge or will you not be able to sign up for that anymore?

    $30 + $5 for Text is lame, very lame and does not make up for the difference in price… I will keep my Gen 1 8GB Iphone or pick up a cheap 16GB Gen 1 when they get dumped on eBay !! 🙂 And keep my $20 plan with WiFi access abound! GPS is not enough to get me to go to a new phone, 2.0 should be enough for this phone.

  5. Though disappointed with the rate increase, I may still go with the iPhone. In my area, AT&T is still the only carrier that can give you a straight forward explanation of the pricing and limitations of their wireless plans. And the iPhone seems to be the only smartphone around here that you can rely on to not have had half its features crippled or locked out at the carrier’s request.

    That’s the one advantage the iPhone still has. Before I ever put pen to paper, I know what the phone will or won’t be able to do, as well as how much it’s going to cost every month.

  6. I’ll echo the sentiments of Flippy and Galley. One q though. One of my relatives has T-mobile, and would the iPhone 3G (if potentially unlocked) work with that service? What I mean to say is would he be able to access internet without Wi-fi?

  7. I think that AT&T is having to recoup its 3G deployment costs now …. in UK/EU all out networks have already deployed and written off the costs

    O2 are doing £159 for the 16Gb iPhone 3G for £30pcm including unlimited* data and WiFi hotspot, loads of texts and minutes on an 18 month contract.

    2 Year contracts just don’t fly in the UK yet

  8. I don’t get this — if APPLE quotes 3G xfers speeds as 2.8x the speed of EDGE, and if EDGE generally runs at no more than 200 kbps, then that means the new handset won’t achieve speeds greater than 600 kbps.

    My RAZR V9 and my Nokia N95 8GB regularly achieve 1.4 Mbps. So where’s the benefit?

  9. Well; I will stick with my old but new I-phone. I just bought it about 5 months ago & I absolutely love it. I have a GPS system in my car. Edge is fine. And I do have WI-FI in alot of places. And I’ll just be checking the Ap store out on occasion. I am very happy with the 1st one.

  10. What if you buy a new Iphone but live in an area with no 3G coverage. How will AT&T know who to charge for unlimited 3G or for Edge? I want a new iphone for the GPS. The 3G coverage is marginal at best in the USA right now.

  11. I can’t hang with the net $15/month increase. not for roughly the same functionality (edge vs. 3g // triangulation vs. GPS).

    like someone said above, the apps store is where the juice is. Unless some really awesome apps are seriously crippled without the 3G, I’ll stick with my IPhone 1, at least until they come out with something worth buying (like a 32GB one)

  12. Realize this: The $10 per month increase in the price of the data plan must be accompanied by an additional $5 per month to get any text messaging (200/month included in old plan but none in new plan). This means $15 more per month X 24 month contract equals $360 more for 3G iPhone compared to 2G with price decrease of only $200. You will actually pay $160 MORE for this iPhone compared to the 2G version. While more money for more features sounds reasonable at first glance, this certainly makes Steve Jobs’ claim about Apple responding to the 56% who noted price as the limiting factor in non buying an iPhone sound disingenuous at best.

  13. I also live in a area where no 3G is available, Columbus, Georgia where Fort Benning is a big impact and i don’t understand why ATT is so slow with their 3G network.

    I would love to get me the iPhone for $199 but the no 3G coverage so thats a nono for me at this time.

  14. @Dyvim. Thanks! I think I just figured out a new plan. I’ll unlock my iPhone, give it to my relative, and buy the new one. That way I’m only paying an extra $120 a year. For me, I’m in SF, so 3G baby! Personally, I think it’s worth it. The camera ain’t so bad (they look awesome to me), App Store is awesome, and a few tweaks. What more couldja ask for? Well, a video camera. Grr….

  15. I am sorry to hear that Apple decided to cave in to the carriers by “dropping” the price of the phone and instead jacking up the cost of service. Prior to June 9, I, and a lot of existing iPhone owners were looking forward to the 3G. Now, I hear over and over again, “I think I’ll wait.” That means LESS sales for Apple. That also means that parents who had been listening to their kids saying, “I want an iPhone” are NOT going to buy one for them because they are unwilling to pay the added monthly costs – if it had stayed the same, they might consider it, but not the INCREASE. I can see why Apple stock took a nosedive this week. Bad planning Mr. Jobs!

  16. When I called AT&T they said the plan that was $30 included 1500 text msg and the $45 plan included unlimited text.. Has anyone else heard of this? I’m confused be all the post I’ve talked to two agents and they both said the same thing..

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