AT&T makes major changes to iPhone, iPad data plans

AT&T has announced that it is making several major changes to its data plan offerings, including those for the iPhone and iPad, as well as giving a concrete timeframe for its iPhone tethering launch. The single $30 unlimited iPhone data plan will be replaced by a pair of options: DataPlus, which offers 200MB of data for $15 per month, and DataPro, which provides 2GB of data for $25. Should a customer exceed their data limit, they will receive either an extra 200MB of data for $15 on DataPlus plans or an extra 1GB of data for $10 on DataPro plans. Similar changes will be made to the company’s iPad data offerings, with the $30 unlimited plan being replaced by the new $25 for 2GB a month plan. All of the data plans offer free access to more than 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots as well. Finally, AT&T will be offering iPhone tethering to customers on DataPro plans for an extra $20 per month; the feature will be available when iPhone OS 4.0 is released. Current customers are not required to switch to the new plans but can do so if they wish without extending their contracts; the plans will be available beginning June 7.

  1. So now I have to “upgrade” my plan just to have the option to use tethering, which was supposed to be ready a loooong time ago? Please Apple, make a CDMA compatible phone for Verizon and I will be at your doorstep on day 1, cancellation fee in hand. I can’t even get service when I visit my mom as AT&T doesn’t have any.

  2. I love my iPhone and iPad, but I think the day is coming when I trade my iPhone for an iPod Touch and either a Verizon MiFi + prepaid dumbphone or else a Verizon smartphone that has hotspot service. There’s only so much crap I’m willing to take from a carrier.


  4. Just analyzed my last years data usage. I am on my iPhone constantly, although most at home and work with WIFI at both places. My wife also has an iPhone. This new pricing would have saved me $225 over the last year. This is great news!

  5. I reset my usage stats 4 days ago and I’ve already sent 25MB and received 500MB. I don’t have WiFi at work and I use my phone to stream internet radio in my office (because our network firewall won’t allow me to do it from my computer). Looks like that’s going to have to stop. They say “Current customers are not required to switch plans” but what do you bet that when my contract expires next month and I upgrade to the new iPhone, I’ll be stuck with the new, non-unlimited plan?

  6. Does the $20 extra for tethering get you additional data usage? Or is the extra $20 just for the “privelege” of allowing your laptop to eat away at your meager 2GB data plan?

  7. I think this is fair. Networks are utilities. No one offers “unlimited” electricity, gas or fuel oil, so why should the carriers? The cost for tethering is a bit high, but will be a tax deductible business expense for most who really need it.

  8. Companies offer unlimited internet, television, home phone, satellite radio, etc. I think those things are much more comparable to mobile data than electricity, gas, fuel oil, etc.

    I already have a Verizon MiFi for data, ATT has no high speed data network in the last two places that I’ve lived. I can’t wait until I can have an iPhone on a network other than ATT, thankfully my contract expires in September.

  9. Bait and Switch. They pumped the iPad 3G for months on the unlimited data plan with no contract and now they’re taking it away only what 2 months or less since the 3G launched? Screw AT&T I’d rather pay the big cash to another carrier and use MiFI instead.

    ATT can burn in hades and if Apple knew this I hope they know the government is already watching them and ATT ..things are about to get hot.

  10. Could someone confirm/clarify: if my iPhone is connected to a WiFi network, data that I send or download would not be counted against these limits? Thanks.

  11. Well I was going to get the new iPhone when it comes out but now I will not be. No unlimited data plan? I don’t want to have to track my data usage. This is ridiculous. We don’t even have tethering yet and I still have used over 2GB of data.

  12. 1st. AT&T promised all americans that “Tethering” will come available last summer. They said in june 2009 that tethering will be “available later this summer”. so as you see they lied to us, we have ground to sue because of false promises.

    2nd. 2GB for $25 bucks is not ok, give us at least 5GB like Verizon do.

    3rd. Apple is a great company and i believe in their products. I would like for Apple to open it’s doors for other cariers like Verizon or sprint. they will really be profit form that move.

    4th. Heck, I would love the new iPhone but AT&T is the stopper here. I still have me iPhone3G and did not upgrade to the 3GS because of AT&T….

  13. Time for a “dumbphone” and a WiFi-only iPad.

    Glad the ETF was still only $175 when I signed my contract. That figure just got a lot easier to swallow.

  14. Is this some kind of joke? Going from unlimited data to 2 GB a month (for only five dollars less) does NOT work… lots of people will probably need to get the extra 1 GB, bringing their monthly data fees up to $35.00.
    AT&T doesn’t seem to care if everyone hates it… it just wants as much money as possible before the iPhone goes to other carriers (starting June 7? Isn’t that the date when the new iPhone will be announced?).

  15. You know…I was all excited about hopping from Sprint to AT&T once the new iPhones came out. Now…not so much. I think I’ll just keep my iPod touch and snag an HTC Hero or something. At least Sprint still offers unlimited data on my plan…

    Gods, AT&T needs to lose its iPhone exclusivity in the US, and soon.

  16. #20 – This is not an Apple initiative. This is AT&T abusing it’s exclusivity. The only fault Apple has here is that it doesn’t open up to Verizon. That move would be so profitable for Apple.

    As for some of your other points:

    Censorship – The App Store is a store. It is Apples store. They can choose what to sell at any time. Walmart, Target, Best Buy…none of these sell porn. Why should Apple feel forced to do so? They put Safari on their products. Just surf to porn if it is so important. No one is stopping you. I have tested it myself (purely scientific mind you…hahaha). As for non-porn app issues, I will agree that Apple is being too restrictive. I just read that they pulled a digital picture frame app because it uses widgets. Too “desktop-like”. C’mon already.

    Slave Labor – have you seen the laundry list of tech companies that use Foxconn? Dell and HP both use them as well. And Foxconn is noted as one of the most upstanding of the Chinese factories. Apple, Dell and HP all pour resources into making sure it is fully above board so that it can’t come back to bite them. The suicides are an indication of the culture there. Not simply the external stresses from American tech companies. Workers there are pushed hard, that is a fact. But it is no different than the Japanese folks that commit suicide for “failing” in their jobs. It is just misdirected shame. Apple and the others have sent in teams to find the root problems in this.

    Flash – see my Censorship/App Store item. If Apple feels that Flash is a detriment to the product they are putting out there, then they have every right to disallow it. I, along with many others, appreciate the lack of battery-draining, resource hungry, crippled Flash sites and advertisements. If Adobe got off their butts and produced that long-promised functional Mobile Flash…maybe it would be a real issue. But they have slacked because no one would push them. Consider them officially pushed now.

    Bait/Switch – again…that is AT&T. And I agree that it is just preposterous. AT&T should absolutely be called out on this. I do wish Apple had never gotten into bed with them. Not exclusively at least. That exclusivity crutch is what allows AT&T to pull this crap. If they had to compete with an iPhone on Verizon, things would be very different. AT&T is the biggest weakness in the iPhone model.

  17. The worse part is 20 bucks for tethering! So your 2GB = 25 Dollars plus 20 Dollars more (No extra GB) just to connect it to your Laptop! That’s BS! Looks like my next smart phone will be a droid!

  18. Bait & Switch, plain and simple. One of the selling points to this was that you could go month to month. Another was the all you can eat. This new scheme makes this not possible. A Class Action lawsuit needs to be filed and Apple needs to be kicked in the pants.

    Lately they have been outta line constantly and they need to be put in check. uhum lawsuit, uh um, boycott

    * Censorship
    * Slave Labor (Foxconn)
    * Trying to regulate technologies (Flash)
    * Baiting and switching and just plain taking advantage of good customers.

    Apple = Old Microsoft..but worse

  19. I’ve took a look at my data usage. I’m a IT Admin, and stream radio, remote connect to my macs at home, remote in my surveilance cam at home and o all kind of other stuff on my iphone 3G…but guess what .. I got a max usage of 900MB at top from last year november to today….

    I could not belive this either… so, looks like i can save me $5. eitherway, I still belive a 6GB datad plan for $30 (including tethering) would be the correct choice from AT&T

  20. @20
    I see what u mean but I don’t agree 100%

    * the apple store has tight regulations, which is ok with me. One thing i was dissapointed was that the wireless sync apps was denied. I assume its because apple has a similar function in it’s new iPhone OS4 implemented. Apple cares about what apps reflect on their product and thats good. I agree that some features should be implemented, some apps should have been approved.

    * Foxconn, well,.. $150 is a lot of money there and it’s the china’s economy’s fault for having a low value on their money. Foxconn by itself need to look in their employees, be there for them, have programs for them, family oriented. I’m sure apple will support

    * Flash? lol,.. flash is fading out. Apple is the frontrunner with wanting the html5 implemented. Flash is nice but I really don’t need it on my iPhone. (and I’m a former web developer)

    * baiting (AT&T), I do not get close to 2GB but I do not agree how they treat their customers. If AT&T give 6-8GB/month including tethering for $30 then they would be “alright” with me.

    Didn’t AT&T promised us last year on national TV that Tethering will be available later this summer of 2009? .. so they broke the contract by false promising to get more customers when the iPhone3Gs came out. Everybody can get out the contract because of that specific reason 😉 ..

    I will most likely get me a iPhone4G, depending on how AT&T set their plans. I pay $70 for unlimited data, and 450 min rollover and 200txt, thats kind of enough for me. I use a free txt apps, and thinking to go skype …

  21. No carrier has unlimited data. Even when AT&T said they did they capped you at 5gb. Verizon says theirs is unlimited. Guess what? 5gbs. Sprint is the same thing. AT&T just screwed you by cutting your cap by more than half and only giving you 5 bucks back. Haha. I’ll stick to my android on Verizon and tethering my touch to it.

  22. Laugh while you can, #24. it wasn’t that long ago Verizon’s CEO commented that the days of unlimited data plans were numbered.

    Last fall I put a lot of time into comparing plan prices among the major carriers (both contract and prepaid). My conclusion is that while each one may spend a good deal of money promoting the advantages they have over the competition, the reality more closely resembles a coordinated game of follow the leader.

    It’s like a corporate game of good cop – bad cop. One carrier takes the lead in implementing an unpopular policy change and, within a year or two, the other three follow suit. Last was Verizon raising ETFs on smart phones, now AT&T axing unlimited data. Now it’s either Sprint or T-mo’s turn to play the jerk.


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